Possibility of rain means big parking changes for ABC Kite Festival

Parking for this weekend’s ABC Kite Festival just got a little trickier.

The possibility of rain has prompted organizers and the Austin Parks and Recreation Department to eliminate general attendance on-site parking for Sunday’s event at Zilker Park.

Forecasts currently call for as much as 1 inch of rain.

Jay Janner photo / American-Statesman staff
Jay Janner photo / American-Statesman staff

Even with the possibility of storms and a lack of on-site parking, the festival is still expected to take place, organizers said. Attendees are encouraged to use alternate forms of transportation, such as bikes, buses or ride-hailing apps.

The closure doesn’t impact the ABC Kite Festival’s planned breakfast and fun run, the Austin Parks and Recreation Department said. People attending those events will still be able to park at Zilker Park.

For more details on the ABC Kite Festival, head over to Austin360.

How to prepare for this weekend’s cold front

Put away those short-sleeves and get ready to crank the thermostat up. There’s a cold front a-brewin’ for Austin, and it’s set to hit late Thursday night into Friday morning. Expect freezing temperatures. It’s not supposed to get warmer than 37 degrees on Friday, and the weekend isn’t looking much better: The highest predicted temperature is 48 degrees.

Diego Rodriguez covers up plants outside of Upper Crust Bakery on Thursday, Jan. 20, 2011. (Deborah Cannon/AMERICAN-STATESMAN)
Diego Rodriguez covers up plants outside of Upper Crust Bakery on Thursday, Jan. 20, 2011. (Deborah Cannon/AMERICAN-STATESMAN)

Whether you’re happy we’re getting some more winter weather or you’re sad to have to wear a jacket, that doesn’t change the fact that it’s going to be a cold weekend. You probably know to cover your outdoor plants. Here are some more safety tips from the American Red Cross to get ready for the cold, as well as some ideas on what to do if you don’t feel like leaving the house.

via GIPHY

  • Wear layers. Gloves and a hat will prevent you from losing body heat.
  • Bring your pets indoors. They may have fur, but if it’s too cold for you, it’s too cold for them.
  • Keep your thermostat temperature constant throughout the day and night in order to avoid bursting pipes, when it gets down to freezing temperatures.
  • Speaking of pipes, it helps to run trickling water to prevent your pipes from freezing. Open your kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors to allow warmer air to circulate around the plumbing. Keep the garage doors closed if there are water lines in the garage. If pipes do freeze, thaw them slowly with an electric hair dryer.
  • Never use the oven or the stove to heat your home.
  • If you use a space heater, make sure it’s on a level surface and it’s at least three feet away from anything flammable, and make sure to turn them off before you go to bed (in your bed that has lots of blankets, of course).
  • Car tire pressure can be affected by just a 10 degree change in temperature, and when gone unchecked, could cause flat tires and lead to accidents. Make sure your car’s tires are inflated properly.

coldfront

If you just don’t feel like leaving your cozy little abode this weekend, here are some things you can do at home:

  • Go on a Netflix binge (Like you weren’t already thinking about doing that this weekend.)
  • Cook up some warm meals at home. Use the time to unleash your inner culinary artist.
  • Drink something warm.
  • Do yoga or some other sort of exercise. Just because it’s cold doesn’t mean you can slack off on those New Year’s resolutions.

But, if you do feel like venturing out, there’s still a lot to do:

However you choose to spend your cold front weekend, stay warm, and stay safe.

Too warm out for your favorite winter activities? Try these instead

Welcome to Austin, where it’s 80+ degrees on Dec. 28. If today’s possibly record-setting heat is cramping your winter style, fear not: Here are five warm-weather alternatives to keep you busy until temperatures cool down enough to pull the sweaters back out.

Siena Remingler, 10, enjoys an afternoon in Barton Springs Pool with her family. (Photo by Reshma Kirpalani/American-Statesman)
Siena Remingler, 10, enjoys an afternoon in Barton Springs Pool with her family. (Photo by Reshma Kirpalani/American-Statesman)

Too warm to lace up some skates and glide across the ice? Try a dip in Barton Springs Pool or head out to Lady Bird Lake instead.

Instead of showing off your cute new boots, think summer style and treat yourself to a pedicure.

Frozen and on the rocks margaritas from El Mercado. (Photo by Deborah Cannon/American-Statesman)
Frozen and on the rocks margaritas from El Mercado. (Photo by Deborah Cannon/American-Statesman)

Wish you could be sipping hot cocoa? How about some ice cream or a frosty margarita?

If you just can’t help but wear your favorite sweater, head indoors to a cool movie theater and check out one of these films generating Oscar buzz.

Longing for a cozy meal by the fire? Leave your jacket at home and grab a meal outside instead (maybe wait until the sun goes down).

Any more suggestions? Let us know in the comments.

Monday’s largest-in-70-years supermoon is a once-in-a-lifetime event

You don’t have to make plans to catch Monday’s super supermoon. There’s just no way you’re going to miss it.

The striking Goddess of Liberty on top of the Texas State Capitol is silhouetted against a full moon, Monday, Nov. 14, 2016. 2016. A full moon at its perigee is called super moon. Monday's supermoon is the brightest since 1948.  Photo by Ricardo B. Brazziell / American-Statesman
The striking Goddess of Liberty on top of the Texas State Capitol is silhouetted against a full moon, Monday, Nov. 14, 2016. 2016. A full moon at its perigee is called super moon. Monday’s supermoon is the brightest since 1948. Photo by Ricardo B. Brazziell / American-Statesman

As the Weather Channel reports, the moon the night of Nov. 14 is set to be 14 percent bigger and 30 percent brighter than an average full moon, and it is the “closest full moon to date in the 21st century,” NASA says. The moon won’t come this close to Earth again until 2034.

You might also see Monday’s moon referred to as the “Beaver Moon.” According to the Weather Channel, this is because this moon came “at the time of year when the early colonists and the Algonquin tribes set their beaver traps before the swamps froze.”

According to our five-day forecast, Monday night is set to be clear and cool — perfect for moon-gazing. Pull up a patch of grass and marvel at what may very well be the closest view of the moon you’ll ever get…

READ: Friday’s rare ‘black moon’ and why you won’t be able to see it

5 ways to enjoy the cooler weather

Although the first day of fall was last week, Austin’s cooler weather just kicked in. We couldn’t be happier to explore the area wearing our long sleeves again.

A runner moves past a line of fall colors at San Gabriel Park in Georgetown on Thursday, December 3, 2015. DEBORAH CANNON / AMERICAN-STATESMAN
A runner moves past a line of fall colors at San Gabriel Park in Georgetown in 2015. DEBORAH CANNON / AMERICAN-STATESMAN

Here are a few ways you can celebrate the chilly Central Texas temperatures:

  1. Enjoy fall beers! Treat yourself to more than just the typical Oktoberfest lagers and pumpkin ales.

      2. Check out a fall festival around Texas.  From antiques fairs in Round Top to pumpkin patches in Chappell Hill, there’s a festival for everyone’s taste in Central Texas and beyond.

EXPLORE: Find the flavors, sights and sounds of autumn all around Austin

3. Hang out at a cool coffee shop. South Congress Avenue offers plenty of good shopping, but take a break at one of its coffee shops while taking a sip of something warm.

4. Go camping. It’s time to get off-the-trodden trail and explore lesser-known campgrounds.  

5. Dine outdoors.  Enjoy all the outdoor dining options around the city without melting.

 

 

 

 

Tips for making your trip to Schlitterbahn this summer the best one

Cool off a Schlitterbahn New Braunfels. credit: Wendi Poole Promotional hand out photo of Schlitterbahn in New Braunfels which is actually three parks full of water and water rides. Guests take free shuttles to get from one to another. CREDIT: Schlitterbahn Water Park. Received 05/06/08 for 0518WaterParks.
Cool off a Schlitterbahn New Braunfels. Credit: Wendi Poole Promotional hand out photo of Schlitterbahn in New Braunfels which is actually three parks full of water and water rides. Guests take free shuttles to get from one to another.

There isn’t a place in Texas you can have more fun, tube in tow, than Schlitterbahn. But how can you maximize your fun, your wave pool time and your entire park experience? The Houston Chronicle offers some helpful basics, and the American-Statesman has a few more to add. Start with sunscreen, and then check out the rest of these helpful Schlitterbahn suggestions

  • The busy days aren’t always the ones you’d think. As park COO Terri Adams told the Houston Chronicle, “Mondays are a big travel and park day. Often times they can be the second biggest attendance day of the week.” If we lived in an ideal world, we’d all be there on a Thursday.
  • Surf and save/ blast and save days. These special tickets are only available during the beginning and end of the summer season. Although only selected parts of the park are open, they are priced cheaper and ensure an emptier park as kids are back in school. Adult swim!
  • Grab a local bite to eat afterward. The American-Statesman’s Jake Harris recommends Pat’s Place (try the fried pickles), but the surrounding area has much to offer by way of food.
  • Hit the rides hard during lunchtime. Most park visitors will take a break around noon — now’s your chance. While others are snacking, you could be splashing.
  • Picnic lunches are welcome! Never forget that Schlitterbahn is the only amusement park you won’t be dishing out $8 for a soda. Because you can just pack your own!
  • Shoes. Water shoes aren’t going to seem half as lame when they’re protecting the bottom of your feet from what can be a very hot sidewalk.
  • Afternoon ticket discounts. More of a late riser? Keep in mind that the park sells discounted tickets in the later afternoon hours.
  • Shade. Find it and cling to it. Getting to the park a little early will best ensure your chance of securing a spot with shade, which can serve as a much-needed respite from that summer sun.
  • Literally go with the flow. If you’ve ever become trapped in the simulated rapids while tubing through a ride, do not panic. I repeat. Schlitterbahn has a way of moving even the most stubborn tubes along, so don’t worry, and enjoy the ride.
  • Take sun protection as seriously as you do fun. A fun day at Schlitterbahn does not have to end in debilitating sunburn. Lather up!
  • Splurge for that locker. Especially if you’re visiting with a group, you’ll all rest a little easier knowing you don’t need to worry about your valuables.
  • Keep an eye on the weather. Before driving all the way out to Schlitterbahn be sure to double-check the forecast.

Remember your Schlitterbahn trip is nothing if you don’t ride every ride at least six times. Good luck out there!

These Texans are fed up with all this rain

It’s sunny now, but Austinites who weathered last weekend’s storms could be in for more of the same starting Thursday.

Thursday will see a 20 percent chance of thunderstorms and showers, with a high temperature of around 90. By Sunday and Monday, the chance for thunderstorms rises to 30 percent.

NWS5DaysOut

 

We don’t know about the rest of you, but here at the Statesman, we’re pretty tired of all this rain. It may be a good thing for Medina Lake, but it’s also a bad thing for local hiking trails— the Barton Creek Greenbelt just reopened on Wednesday after being closed for a week while Travis County was declared a disaster area.

Needless to say, we’re tired of the rain. And we’re not alone. The internet has voiced its woes, too.

There’s this guy, who had to drive a tractor just to get some Whataburger.

Gary Gostecnik delivers Whataburger to his neighbors trapped by the Brazos River Flooding. Photo via Dora Ann Gostecnik/@Dora_Ann_G
Gary Gostecnik delivers Whataburger to his neighbors trapped by the Brazos River Flooding. Photo via Dora Ann Gostecnik/@Dora_Ann_G

 

Or there’s Ted Straub, who uses his house at Graveyard Point Road at Lake Travis for weekend trips, trying to make the best of the flooding by fishing in his house:

Ted Straub walks out of his partially submerged home Monday on Graveyard Point Road at Lake Travis. Straub and his family use the home for weekend trips; it has flooded in the past. Straub took the fishing pole and a video camera to make a video for family and friends. Because of recent flooding, Lake Travis will be closed to recreational boating. (Austin American-Statesman)
Ted Straub walks out of his partially submerged home Monday on Graveyard Point Road at Lake Travis. Straub and his family use the home for weekend trips; it has flooded in the past. Straub took the fishing pole and a video camera to make a video for family and friends. Because of recent flooding, Lake Travis will be closed to recreational boating. (Austin American-Statesman)

How about this alligator, who was left high and dry when flood waters receded in Houston:

HoustonGater

Of course, everyone knows who this armadillo is after his rescue:

A man rescues an armadillo from high water near Greens Bayou and Greens Rd. Monday, April 18, 2016, in Houston. ( Steve Gonzales / Houston Chronicle. Taken from Facebook.)
A man rescues an armadillo from high water near Greens Bayou and Greens Rd. Monday, April 18, 2016, in Houston. ( Steve Gonzales / Houston Chronicle. Taken from Facebook.)

 

Even the Stevie Ray Vaughan statue wasn’t spared:

Twitter users react to Austin ISD not cancelling, delaying classes

Photo by Ralph Barrera
A school bus splashes water from the road during a rain storm May 19, 2016. Photo by Ralph Barrera

After a seemingly mundane tweet Thursday about morning rain, Austin ISD’s Twitter mentions began filling up with tweets, memes and gifs from locals wondering why the district hadn’t delayed classes.

School districts are much more likely to either cancel or delay classes due to flooding. But heavy rain and concerns about potential flooding have prompted districts to modify their schedules before, such as a heavy rain event during mid-April.

 

https://twitter.com/rylanpoole7/status/733302067180134401

Some users included gifs to express disappointment or confusion.

https://twitter.com/Morgan__Sanders/status/733333976362811393

Other users replied to the district’s tweets with memes.

https://twitter.com/alinarangell/status/733293240800026624

https://twitter.com/Jacob_Briseno44/status/733292556524490753

The winning tweet summed up the district’s decision just about perfectly.

Read about the latest weather conditions, and view more photos from Thursday’s rain. Download the American-Statesman’s weather app, available on Apple iTunes and Google Play.