Highlights of Thanksgiving week include Turkey Trot, Mac & Cheese Fest
1. ThunderCloud Subs Turkey Trot
9:30 a.m. Nov. 23. $10-$35. The Long Center, 701 W. Riverside Drive. thundercloud.com/turkey-trot/event-info.
In Austin, it’s a Thanksgiving tradition: either walking or running for a good cause the morning before we all eat a whole lot of turkey. The Turkey Trot features a 5-mile run that you can participate in either timed or untimed or a 1-mile walk, depending on what you’re in the mood for. There’s also a kids K so everyone in the family can participate. It’s the largest 5-mile run in Texas, with more than 20,000 participants each year, and it benefits Caritas of Austin, a nonprofit that supports the city’s working poor and homeless people. All proceeds go to Caritas.
2. 2nd Annual Austin Mac & Cheese Festival
1 to 4 p.m. Nov. 19. $20-$100. Auguste Escoffier School of Culinary Arts, 6020 Dillard Circle. eventbrite.com/e/2nd-annual-austin-mac-cheese-festival-tickets-37208634026.
The unapologetically cheesiest dish in American cuisine has returned as the star of the mother of all food festivals. Austin Food Magazine is once again producing this mac and cheese extravaganza to celebrate everyone’s most favorite side dish. Some of Austin’s best chefs and eateries — including Burro Cheese Kitchen, Stiles Switch BBQ and Eden East — will battle it out to see who truly has the best mac and cheese in the city. With up to 35 vendors, you’ll need to come in your comfy pants.
3. Shawn Colvin at Paramount Theatre
8 p.m. Nov. 20. $20-$47. 713 Congress Ave. austintheatre.org.
One of Austin’s highest-profile singer-songwriters since she moved back in the 1990s (she’d lived here for a spell in the ’70s as well), Colvin is closing out a two-month tour celebrating Columbia/Legacy’s 20th-anniversary reissue of her platinum-selling album “A Few Small Repairs.” Her band includes the top-notch Austin rhythm section of bassist Glenn Fukunaga and drummer Mike Meadows, as well as ace guitarist Larry Campbell. Another musical guest at the show is Teresa Williams. — Peter Blackstock
4. “Speechless” at Camiba Art
10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday-Friday, noon to 5 p.m. Saturday through Dec. 2. 2832 E. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., Suite 111. camibaart.com.
Houston artist Margaret Smithers-Crump’s first solo show in Austin intends to bring attention to the vulnerability and interconnectedness of the Earth’s diverse ecosystems. In particular, she highlights one of the world’s most crucial organisms with the exhibit’s title work, “Speechless.” Suspended from the ceiling, the piece is inspired by the coral reefs that are threatened by global warming. Viewing the installation from multiple vantage points allows us to contemplate their precarious state.
5. Goose Island Black Wednesday at Banger’s
5 to 8 p.m. Nov. 22. Free. 79 Rainey St. bangersaustin.com.
The holidays can’t start properly without the release of some of the most sought-after beers in the country, the Bourbon County Brand line from Goose Island. Banger’s regularly gets each year’s batches and will have four of 2017’s on tap: the Bourbon County Brand Stout, the Bourbon County Brand Coffee Stout, the Bourbon County Brand Barleywine and the extra-special Bourbon County Brand Northwoods Stout (a bourbon barrel-aged stout with blueberries and almond extract).
6. “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: The Musical”
4 p.m. Nov. 24, 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. Nov. 25. $29-$59. The Long Center, 701 W. Riverside Drive. 512-474-5664, thelongcenter.org.
The television special we all grew up with is coming to life on stage to kick off the holiday season. Come see all of your favorite characters from the Christmas classic, including Santa and Mrs. Claus, Hermey the Elf, the Abominable Snow Monster, Clarice, Yukon Cornelius and, of course, Rudolph himself. The Long Center is also hosting the annual Santa on the Terrace on Friday morning. Stop by with the kids to grab a free photo with Santa Claus overlooking the best view of the city.
7. Lost Pines Christmas’ Wassail Fest
11 a.m. Nov. 25. Free. Main Street in Bastrop. lostpineschristmas.com.
Make a day trip to Bastrop for one of the beginning events — a friendly competition centered on hot mulled cider — of the town’s charming Lost Pines Christmas. While shopping in downtown Bastrop, you’re encouraged to warm up and sample the highly guarded wassail recipes of local merchants and restaurants vying for the Wassail Fest trophy. Cast your vote to help select the favorite. Make sure to hit all the participating locales by using the Wassail Fest map, available online.