Austin is known for many things and our two slogans “Live Music Capital of the World” and “Keep Austin Weird” sum up much of our culture. There is, however, one other thing for which we are known across the country: the bats. Austin is the home to the largest urban colony of Mexican Free-Tailed bats on the continent and thousands of people go out to see them throughout the year. As any Austinite knows, August is the best time to see the bats and the best place is the Congress Avenue Bridge. Bats are incredibly important to our ecosystem and us individually. Primarily insectivores, they consume
millions of bugs each night and without bats we would encounter far more texas-sized bugs than we already do. Therefore, the UN declared 2011-2012 the year of the bat to raise awareness about their importance and need for protection. Night of the Bat Fest is an annual celebration held to do just that and is serving as Austin’s official international bat night. The Ann Richards Congress Avenue Bridge will be full of people and bats on Night of the Bat Fest. At the festival will be over 150 booths and more than 10 bands, but of course the real entertainment of the night will be the bats awakening at dusk when they fly from under the bridge into the trees along the river. The event is free and open to the public but a $1 per person donation is suggested to Bat Conservation International, who is working tirelessly to save this important creature. Members of the organization will be present with information about how to help bats here in Austin and beyond. The attendance is expected at over 40,000 and every donation helps the organization in its efforts. Whether you see the bats consistently or have never been, Night of the Bat Fest will be an ideal time to watch and help the world’s only flying mammal.
WHEN: August 25th 5-12 p.m.
Ann Richards Congress Avenue Bridge
FREE for general admission but $1 suggested donation, VIP tickets can be purchased here