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Say ‘So long, 2017’ and ‘Hello, 2018’ with NYE, Free Week events

Staff Writer
Austin 360
Fireworks will light up the sky above Austin during the New Year’s Eve celebration at Lady Bird Lake’s Auditorium Shores on Sunday. Austin American-Statesman/Rodolfo Gonzalez 2011

We say goodbye to 2017 with New Year’s weekend frivolity. Here, we share some events suitable for the whole family (weather permitting). More New Year’s Eve events at

Austin’s New Year.Events beginning at 3 p.m. Sunday. Fireworks at 10 p.m. Auditorium Shores, 900 W. Riverside Drive.

Bullock Museum. Maker Faire. Create things at the museum. Friday and Saturday. Bullock Museum, 1800 N. Congress Ave.

Kwanzaa Celebration of Ujamaa with Elizabeth Kahura. 6:30 p.m. Friday. Carver Museum, 1165 Angelina St.

New Year’s Eve Balloon Drop & Bubble Wrap Stomp! Crafts, snowball fights and balloon drops at noon and 2 p.m. Sunday. Tickets required: $12. Thinkery, 1830 Simond Ave.

Winter Wonderland at the Circuit of the Americas. 5 to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday. $16, plus additional fees for some activities.

Whole Foods Skating on the Plaza. 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. through Jan. 15. $10. Whole Foods Market, 525 N. Lamar Blvd.

Zilker Tree.Through Dec. 31. Zilker Park.

Hello, 2018!

One of our favorite musical events of the year — Free Week — kicks off the new year in the Red River District and elsewhere. Go see some local bands. Here are six recommendations from writer Deborah Sengupta Stith:

Peelander-Z, Dead Music Capital Band, Drakulas at Empire. From the Japanese action comic antics of the Peelander punks to DIY marching zombies, this unpretentious hair-of-the-dog throwdown indulges in the best of new school Austin weird. (Monday)

Whiskey Shivers, Sailor Poon, Booher at Empire. Rollicking rebel bluegrass? Check. Feminist art punk with songs about “Boobies”? Check. Emotionally literate rock ‘n’ roll? Yep. What else do you need, people? (Thursday)

Jackie Venson, Mobley, Mélat at Stubb’s. Three of Austin’s brightest rising stars on the same bill. Venson is Austin’s next great electric blues guitarist who recently did a high-profile road stint with Gary Clark Jr. Mobley has a catalog loaded with catchy pop songs and an electrifying stage show, and Mélat sings dreamy R&B for the lover in all of us. (Thursday)

Riverboat Gamblers, American Sharks, Eagle Claw at Barracuda. Oh, you like it rough? The Gamblers’ rowdy bash is a perennial Free Week fave. (Thursday)

Los Coast, Emily Wolfe, Otis the Destroyer at Mohawk. After a year spent building a reputation as one of the hottest live acts in Austin, Los Coast promises “a slew of album releases” in 2018. Excellent singer and guitarist Emily Wolfe spent 2017 writing and plotting her debut full-length debut. This is another solid opportunity to catch a few winners before they blow up. (Jan 5)

Applied Pressure Orchestra at Empire. A one-off performance from the live band version of the excellent DJ/Electronic music collective that includes Hobo D, Kid Slyce and Boombaptist. The evening will also include a performance from Vapor Caves, the new project from Keeper’s Yadira Brown and Boombaptist, and a rare return to the turntables by DJ Tats, best known these days as a local ramen kingpin. (Jan. 6)