Volume 36, Issue 3, 2017

Going Bat Loco

Young and old bat fans alike don their batty best for the annual Bat Loco Bash!
Credit: Katie Jepson / BCI.

August is a time for back-to-school shopping, last minute vacations, and if you’re a San Antonio resident, it’s a time for the annual Bat Loco Bash.

The Bat Loco Bash is a unique way to end the summer for kids all over the San Antonio area. The event takes place on the last Tuesday before school starts and offers not only music, educational booths, and games, but also gives visitors a perfect view of the 60,000 Mexican free-tailed bats (Tadarida brasiliensis) taking off for the night.

“People cheer when the bats start coming out,” said Fran Hutchins, Director of the Bracken Cave Preserve with Bat Conservation International. “It’s just a lot of fun, you know, having some kind of family-friendly event.”

Credit: Katie Jepson / BCI.

Things have changed a lot since Bat Loco started back in 2013. Originally there might have been as few as 50 visitors who joined the educational bat walk along the river, but things have grown quite a bit since then. “It’s really neat seeing how everyone’s embracing the bats,” said Hutchins, as about 4,000 people now come to the Bat Loco Bash. They have had to take over both bridges over the river, closing two streets just to fit all of the bat enthusiasts.

And this year’s event was no different. With appearances by the Batmobile, Echo the Bat, and even Batman himself, hundreds of young and old alike got to join in on the batty fun and learn about the bats under the I-35 bridge. When asked how this year’s event stacked up against past celebrations, Hutchins added, “This year’s event was the best ever!”


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