Austin (Texas) celebrates its beloved colony of bridge bats this summer with its third annual Bat Run to benefit Bat Conservation International. This year’s will send some 1,200 people running along Austin’s Lady Bird Lake.
The 5K Bat Run, along with a 1K Kids Run, begins at 7 p.m. Sunday, July 13. It winds up at the Congress Avenue Bridge downtown, where runners can enjoy entertainment and watch the evening emergence of about 1.5 million bats. Registration, which includes a very special T-shirt, is $25 for adults and $10 for children. The Bat Run is produced by BCI and RunTex. Details: www.batrun5k.com.
About 40,000 people are expected at the bridge the following month for Austin’s fourth annual BatFest. The festival, built around the colony of Mexican free-tailed bats that spend each summer beneath the Congress Avenue Bridge, also benefits BCI, which is headquartered in Austin.
BatFest, on August 30-31, features about 150 booths set up at the bridge with arts, crafts and food, plus an array of bat-centered children’s activities and educational exhibits. More than 30 bands will perform and, of course, the bats will fly out from under the bridge for their night’s work of eating up to 20,000 pounds of bugs.
Admission to BatFest, produced by Roadway Productions, is $5. Information: www.roadwayevents.com.