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Running to Keep Austin Weird
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Running to Keep Austin Weird

by
Jun 25th, 2014

Austin, the self-proclaimed weirdest city on earth, has no qualms about its eccentricities. On the contrary, it celebrates them on a regular basis.One of these celebrations, now in its eleventh year, is The Keep Austin Weird Festival and 5k run.

This year’s festival, likely to be the biggest and kookiest yet, is slated to be held on June 28 from 2 to 10 PM at The Long Center, just across the river from AMLI on 2ND and AMLI Downtown. If you aren’t  already in the know about this outlandish affair and would like a brief rundown, then you came to the right place.

What is the Keep Austin Weird Festival?

Founded to help Austinites embrace their city’s weirdness while supporting less fortunate members of the community, the Keep Austin Weird Festival has elements of most major Austin events: Local beer, mouthwatering food, and live music. What makes this festival stand out is the emphasis on celebrating Austin’s uniqueness. To help set the mood, pass holders are encouraged to dress up in their most bizarre costumes.

How does the 5k element play into the event?

This component of the event is a 5k run with a twist. Participants are not supposed to run the entire length of the 5k course straight through. Instead, they are encouraged to break at various “fun stops” where they see and do all sorts of weird things. This year’s fun stops will include a slip ‘n’ slide and a vodka shot stand.

What kind of food and entertainment can I expect?

True to the festival’s form, there will be nothing but local food and music. Food trucks will keep your hunger satiated with Chi’lantro, Kebabalicious, La Fantabulous Taqueria, and several other culinary artists serving up their signature dishes. Amy’s Ice Cream is also sure to be a hit, as always.

Taking to the stage to entertain the crowd will be Twin Forks, Riders Against the Storm, Uncle Lucius, T Bird and the Breaks, and KP and the Boom Boom. Loads of non-profits will be present with information about their service projects, and several crafts vendors will showcase their wares.

Tell me more about the Capital Area Food Bank.

The Capital Area Food Bank is the largest hunger-relief charity in Central Texas. The 501c(3) non-profit provides food and grocery items, nutrition education, and social services outreach to a client base of some 300,000 Texans. In 2013, the organization provided hungry mouths with over 20 million meals, thanks to its donors, partners, and more than 19,000 volunteers.

I can’t attend the festival. Can I still help out?

Absolutely! To find out about opportunities for volunteering with the Capital Area Food Bank of Texas or make an online donation, visit AustinFoodBank.org.

The Keep Austin Weird 5k Run may be the slowest on the planet, but it can’t wait much longer for you to sign up. If you want to participate, register for the run and/or purchase your festival passes. If you are feeling extra generous and think it could be nice to be pampered while celebrating the weirdness of your city on a warm summer day, register as a VIP and enjoy complimentary tasty eats and air-conditioned bathrooms all day long!

Are you attending the 12th annual Keep Austin Weird Festival? Unless you’d like to keep it a secret, tell us about your costume in the comments!

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