February was unseasonably warm in most parts of the country this year, and it looks like spring is coming early. The season will have sprung in most places well before its official date of March 20. Many of these events are right to have winter squarely in the rear view mirror and focus on the fun happening outside rather than in. Let’s hope the good weather holds while the spring rains are still on their way.
March 4: Oyster and Crawfish Festival
For the 14th year, Park Tavern hosts its annual Oyster and Crawfish Festival featuring New Orleans-style cuisine, beverages, and live music. Doors open at 2pm and Cowboy Mouth headlines to play an extended set at 6pm.
March 11: Atlanta Brunch Festival
A delightful cadre of Atlanta’s most-famed brunch restaurants come together to serve up bite-sized renditions of their signature dishes. Standard 5 advance admission includes one food ticket and one drink ticket. Additional tickets are available for purchase at .
March 25: BaconFest
How does unlimited beer and bacon sound? Enjoy that paired with decidedly adult carnival games at Dad’s Garage, a non-profit comedy theater in the Old Fourth Ward. Proceeds go to fund activities and programming at Dad’s Garage. Games and attractions include corn hole, joystick Jenga, fortune telling, and naughty face-painting.
March 27-April 2: Inman Park Restaurant Week
Enjoy 0, 0, and 0 prix fixe menus from most of the restaurants in the Inman Park neighborhood. Participating venues include Il Localino, Fritti, and Sotto Sotto.
March 5: Kite Festival
The ABC Zilker Park Kite Festival is one of the oldest in the nation. It is also free and open to anyone and everyone, regardless of age or ability. The website includes tutorials on how to make your own kite, as well as links to several local resources for upping your flying game before the fest. The festival runs from 10am to 5pm and the rain date is a week later, on March 12.
March 10-19: SXSW
Surely you’ll find it difficult to avoid attending one SXSW event or another if you live in the city. The Austin Convention Center is packed with exhibitors and venues around Austin are inundated with artists, designers, techies, and attendees from around the world.
March 11-25: Rodeo Austin
Catch one of many, many rodeo events over the course of two weeks, including bareback riding, steer wrestling, roping, and ever-popular bull riding. Austin’s largest carnival is also underway during this time and features rides, games, pig races, a Wild West show, and all the food you can fit in your belly.
March 17: St. Patrick’s Day Austin
Head out to Pioneer Farms for a day of all things Irish, including music, food dancing, crafts and kids activities, and other traditional fare. Don’t expect green beer and leprechauns though, this festival prides itself on authenticity.
March 4: The Chicago Beer Festival
Imbibe the brews on tap from over 70 different breweries from around the country and the Chicago area at the Field Museum from 8-11pm. Tickets are 5 for general admission and 5 for VIP admission, which gives access to the venue starting at 7pm. Drinks are included in admission and food is available for purchase.
March 11: St. Patrick’s Day parade and river dyeing
Head downtown early to see the river being dyed right before your eyes. The dyeing begins at 9am and Chicago’s famed St. Patrick’s Day parade begins at noon. It steps off at Balbo Ave. and Columbus Drive and proceeds north on Columbus. If you’re still in the spirit of the Irish the next day, the South Side Irish St. Patrick’s Day Parade also starts at noon.
March 17-19: Chicagoland Family Pet Expo
Pet lovers from the city and Chicago suburbs gather in Arlington Heights at the horse racing track for this massive yearly expo. Pet owners can shop from scores of exhibitors and rescues with animals available adoption and pet products for purchase.
March 18-26: Chicago Flower and Garden Show
Navy Pier hosts this annual floral exhibition for nine days to hail the beginning of spring. Over 20 walkable gardens are on display and many exhibits are hands-on. The event is all-ages and also includes daily seminars, workshops, and shopping opportunities.
March 11: Tater Tots and Beer Festival
Take the short trip into Fort Worth for this worthwhile fest where you can enjoy several different creative varieties of tater tots along with all the beer you can drink. Attendees are able to sample all the various types of tots and are given a beer passport to keep track of what they drink. Designated driver admission is available as well.
The Dallas Arboretum throws this inaugural festival heralding the up-and-coming fall 2017 exhibit, “A Tasteful Place,” which features a food and herb garden. The festival includes a star-studded list of Metroplex culinary royalty producing bite-sized portions of dishes in the vein of American Bistro, Mediterranean, Pan Asian, and South American cuisines.
March 12-July 16: Mexican art exhibition
Explore the wildly diverse Mexican art scene from the turn of the turn of the 20th Century to its middle in “México 1900–1950: Diego Rivera, Frida Kahlo, José Clemente Orozco, and the Avant-Garde,” the latest exhibition at the Dallas Museum of Art.
March 2-5: Boulder International Film Festival
Just on the heels of the Bannf Mountain Film Festival is Boulder’s international film fest. Films are screened at various venues across the city and admission is available on a per-film basis or via a festival pass which grants unlimited access. Watch trailers of the films being screened here.
March 3 & 4: Chris Rock
Chris Rock, one of the best performing comedians today, comes to the Bellco Theatre for two nights of stand up comedy as part of his national Total Blackout tour.
March 10: Cooks for Books
Learn how to cook a few staples of Cambodian cuisine while donating to a good cause. Participants will cook a three-course Cambodian meal in an interactive cooking class and proceeds from the 5 admission fee go to support child rights and education for less fortunate children in Cambodia.
March 31 & April 1: Colorado Outdoor Expo
Check out the latest and greatest tools for camping, hiking, and outdoor sports at the Colorado Outdoor Expo at The National Western Complex. The event also features workshops to hone your outdoors skills as well as several speakers. Tickets are just 0.
March 2-4: World’s Championship Bar-B-Que Contest
The main event of the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo for many isn’t the show itself, but this massive barbecue contest featuring over 250 hand-picked experts cooking up their best renditions of the food. The event has live music, each attendee gets a complementary sliced beef sandwich, and people can also swing by the carnival for rides and games.
March 3: Rolling at the Discovery Green
Celebrate the opening of the roller rink opens at the Discovery Green from 5-10pm. Bands will play roller rink jams from the 50s to the 90s and there will be roller derbies at 6pm and 8pm.
March 10-12: Azalea Trail
Take a walk and smell the flowers, literally. This walk organized by the River Oaks Garden Club sends attendees on a tour of various private and public gardens in bloom and in tip-top condition.
March 11: Buffalo Bayou Regatta
The 45th annual installment of the largest kayak and canoe race happens rain or shine. Participants can compete or paddle at their leisure in the 15-mile race sanctioned by the American Canoe Association. Ages 12 and up can participate. The race is from 7am-2pm.
March 2: Cookies and Cocktails Gala
You read that right. And these aren’t just any cookies, they’re the famously delicious Girl Scout cookies. Guests can enjoy cooking s’mores over an open flame, a cookie photo booth, lots of mingling opportunities, and unlimited Girl Scout cookies and mini cocktail pairings.
March 11 & 12: Bacon, Eggs, and Kegs
Catch a boozy brunch on the turf at Centurylink Field during this weekend showcasing PNW brews and ciders alongside eats served up by some of Seattle’s favorite brunch restaurants.
March 15: Geekwire Bash
Another event at Centurylink Field is this geek fest featuring dodgeball, foosball, and ping pong tournaments, as well as free play of all sorts of arcade and tabletop games. It’s a great way to meet others in Seattle’s booming tech industry.
March 18 & 19: Spring Book Sale
Need a book? Great. This spring book sale by the Friends of the Seattle Public Library literally has thousands of titles to choose from, all for the small price of or . Other items for sale are DVDs, CDs, records, and audiobooks. The sale is held in the Seattle Center Exhibition Hall.
March 4 & 5, 11 & 12: Dana Point Festival of Whales
This 46th annual festival promotes awareness of whales and offers opportunities for whale watching at Dana Point. The fest also has a clam chowder cook off, a barbecue, pizza party, kids activities and more.
March 12: Dachshund Races
The wiener dog races are back! See how fast their little legs can take them across the finish line. Tickets are just and the patio at Old World, where the event is held, is 100-percent dog-friendly.
March 19: Huntington Beach Cherry Blossom Festival
Hail the spring arrival of the cherry blossoms at Huntington Beach Central Park. The fest celebrates the bond between Huntington Beach and its sister city Anjo, Japan, and features Japanese music, food, dancing, cultural exhibits, and kids activities.
March 11: Game of Thrones concert
See the music of the ever-popular HBO show performed by a full orchestra along with Ramin Djawadi, the composer of the original score, at the BB&T Center. Scenes that accompany the music will be played on a LED screen behind the performers.
Thousands descend on downtown Fort Lauderdale to attend the year St. Patrick’s Day parade. The parade moves west down Las Olas Blvd. Flat-rate parking of is offered at many local businesses along the parade route.
March 19: Love and Betrayal
See a performance of Wagner’s Prelude & Liebestod as well as Prokofiev’s Romeo & Juliet and the world premiere of Love & Betrayal, which features two basses, at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts.
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