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Whole Foods Market, Inc. is an Austin staple and go-to grocery store for Austinites. Whole Foods started it all right here in Austin, Texas and now has 350+ locations in the United States and overseas.
It’s been more than four years since developers announced that a Whole Foods Market would open in the Domain, the large multi-use complex near the intersection of Mo-Pac (Loop 1) and U.S. 183. And on January 15, after years of delay, in part due to the recession, the store will finally open. The 65,000 square foot store in the Domain will be the second largest Whole Foods in Austin. Most stores are 35,000 to 40,000 square feet.
Officials say that this location opening, along with a scheduled job fair will hire close to 300 employees. This means Whole Foods opening this year will bring more jobs and opportunities in 2014 to the already booming Texas town.
Prior to the grand opening on January 15, Whole Foods will host an all-day media tour on January 10 and on January 13 will hold a $10 per person preview party benefiting local non-profit radio stations KUT 90.5 and KUTX 98.9. The store will open with a traditional bread breaking ceremony at 7:30am on the morning of January 15 and the first 500 early-bird shoppers will receive special bags stuffed with the store brand 365 Day Value products. All day long, customers will be treated to special events, vendor food samples, sales items, and live music.
For the first five days that the store is open, Whole Foods will donate 1 percent of proceeds to a different nonprofit. The benefitting agencies are the Jewish Community Center of Austin, Emancipet, Austin Creative Reuse, Girlstart and Back on My Feet. So make sure to go and check out the store while doing your weekly grocery shopping and give back to great Austin organizations.
Whole Foods is known for combining the dining experiences with grocery shopping, and this will be well represented in the new store. The Domain Whole Foods will have new and innovative venues such as Texas Ramen–where guests can enjoy the hearty Japanese soup sensation with a Texas barbecue spin; Draft Shack–an indoor, charcoal-grill oyster bar boasting 45 beers on tap; and last but certainly not least, Public Domain–a converted freight train shipping container with an outdoor beer and bratwurst bar. In fact, beer seems to be a major focus at the new store, what with the two draft bars and a four foot “beer alley” stocked with 100 point-rated brews. Austin sure loves its beer.
Everyone should definitely go out to the Domain and experience this opening, even if you don’t live in North Austin, it will be worth going out and supporting the Austin community. I know I will definitely be checking it out and possibly making it my go-to Whole Foods in town.
You can find all the details about the new store, as well as a calendar of opening events, at wholefoodsmarket.com/stores/domain. The store will be open from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily.
11920 Domain Drive
Austin, Texas 78758
Opening January 15, 2014
Grand Opening Bread Breaking Ceremony: 7:30 am
Lago Vista Elementary School Winter Music Program
The holidays are the perfect time to enjoy a local school holiday productions. Students and teachers have prepared for a long time to bring holiday cheer to the residents, parents, and students of the Lago Vista area with some great holiday music. Come and watch the Lago Vista 5th graders and the Viking choir perform December 10 @ 7:00 pm.
Lake Travis Independent School Holiday Events
LTISD Non-Varsity Band Holiday Concert (LTHS PAC) @ 7:00 pm
BCE Musicals: “The Box” @ 9:00 am
“Wild and Wacky Winter” @ 2:00 pm
LTISD Varsity Band Holiday Concert (LTHS PAC) @ 7:00 pm
BCE Musicals: “It’s Saturday!” @ 9:00 am
“United We Stand” @ 2:00 pm
LTHS Visual Arts Annual Holiday Clay Sale (Classroom L-136) @ 4:00 to 8:00 pm
LWE Annual Carnival @ Noon to 4:00 pm
SHE Sailor Show Choir @ 6:30 pm
LWE 5th Grade Musical: “Santa’s Playlist” @ 8:15 a.m. & 6:00 pm
LTISD Middle School Choir Winter Concert (LTHS PAC) @ 7:00 pm
Westlake Nutcracker Spectacular
The Nutcracker Spectacular is an amazing Westlake community event originally conceived by members of the Westlake Technical Entertainment Crew in conjunction with Alisa’s Dance Academy and the Westlake High School Symphonic Orchestra.
December 12-13: Westlake High School @ 7:00 pm
December 14: Westlake High School @ 3:00 pm & 7:00 pm
Round Rock Independent School District Jingle Bell Run
The Round Rock ISD Partners in Education Foundation will sponsor the annual Jingle Bell Run Saturday, December 14 at 8:30 am at the McNeil High School track. The one-mile fun run begins at 8:30 am; Medals will be presented to winners of each age group. Cost for the race is $5 per event per person or $20 for a family. Proceeds from the Jingle Bell Run will go to the Susan C. Brown Memorial Scholarship.
Austin is a great place to celebrate the holidays. There’s no reason to be a scrooge when there are so many Austin events and festivities to take apart of during the month of December. Below are just a few of the many ATX holiday festivities happening this month:
Zilker Trial of Lights – Dec. 1-31
The Trail of Lights is one of Austin’s most anticipated events and it is now back this year with an even longer run! Millions of holiday lights and displays line the trail, creating a fun experience for the whole family. Each night will feature performances from local dance companies, bands, and singers. And new this year, purchase special “ZIP” passes online to get in a full 45 minutes earlier than everyone else.
The Zilker Tree stands 155 feet tall and is composed of 39 streamers, each holding 81 multicolored, 25-watt bulbs—totaling 3,309 lights. At the top of the tree, a double star measures 10 feet from point to point. The double star displays 150 frosted bulbs. This unique spiral pattern of lights was created by City of Austin electricians. Long story short, it’s A LOT of lights.
It all started back on December 10, 1967, when the first tree was lit by Mayor Pro Tem Mrs. Emma Long. So the tradition was set, and for many years to follow this honor has been awarded to the young winner of a city-wide tree coloring contest.
Armadillo Christmas Bazaar – Dec. 17-24
If you’re looking for hot music, fine art, and cold beer, make the Armadillo Christmas Bazaar the place to be this season. The show is actually two events in one: an art fair and music festival with a vibrant community-driven vibe. Visitors can explore an amazing array of handmade items from 160+ artists while enjoying live local music and sips from a full bar.
On exhibit will be everything from statement-making collectible pieces to modestly priced stocking stuffers. While local artists predominate, there are a select few carefully chosen from around the country.
The Armadillo stage will be showcasing some of Austin’s most popular musical talent, with live, intimate performances throughout the afternoon and evening. 25 bands will perfrom over the eight-day show—ranging from new and emerging stars to local legends.
The Bazaar will be open from 11am to 11pm daily. Food and drinks will be served from open to close.
Location: Palmer Events Center, 900 Barton Springs Road, Austin, Texas 78704. Parking is available in the Palmer Events Center/Long Center garage. Admission is $7 for a single day pass; kids 12 and under free.
Austin’s New Year – Dec. 31
Austin’s New Year (ANY) is an annual free event at Auditorium Shores(South 1st Street & Riverside Drive) where Austin families can come together to welcome in the New Year! ANY is an alcohol-free celebration showcasing Austin’s diverse and talented creative community through art, films, and live music.
Food and Drink: Enjoy a delightful assortment of delicious food from Austin eateries – Chi’Lantro Korean BBQ, Boomerang’s Veggie and Meat Pies, Thomas’s Gourmet Hot Dogs, Hero’s Gyros, Marco’s Tacos, Tiff’s Treats, & more!
Main Stage (5:00-10:00 p.m.): Great music for all ages from 5 Austin bands – Performances by Groundwork Music Orchestra, Peterson Brothers, Gina Chavez, and Official State Musician of Texas Sara Hickman.
Parks and Recreation Department Performing Arts Stage (5:00-10:00 p.m.): Culturally-diverse music and dance performances from Austin’s best – Performances by April Rain, Shaili Mehta, The Flying Balalaika Brothers, Clickety Cloggers, Wino Vino, Irish Dance Center, 1001 Nights Orchestra, & a special performance by Kupira Marimba.
Austin Film Buffet (6:00-9:00 p.m.): Short selections from Austin film organizations, including Faces of Austin, Cine Las Americas, Austin Jewish Film Festival, Capital City Black Film Festival, Fantastic Fest, and SXSW.
Fun for ANYone (5:00-10:00 p.m.): Interactive art installations, performances, and creative activities throughout the night, from Sky Candy, Austin Bike Zoo, & more!
The night will end with a wonderful and spectacular fireworks finale at 10 p.m.
So if you’re going to be in Austin this holiday season, you should definitely try to make it to one of these great local events. Grab a coat, and some hot chocolate and you’re set to experience what the Austin holidays have to offer.
Thanksgiving is a time for reflection; a time to reflect on what you are truly thankful for. It’s also a time to bring all the people you love together. This holiday is traditionally known for eating a great meal, spending time with family, and other traditions like parades and football. If you’re going to have an Austin Thanksgiving this year, here are some tips on where you can buy foods, full meals to-go; where you can have a great sit-down Thanksgiving meal, and also where you can give back on this giving holiday.
Plenty of places around town are making specialty items for order and pick up:
You can also take advantage of these delicious dinners around town for a sit-down restaurant Thanksgiving:
If you’re feeling really non-traditional you can take part in a cinematic feast:
Thanksgiving is a holiday that’s about more than just food. It’s a holiday for giving thanks, and there is no better way of doing that than by spending some of your time at the charity events happening in Austin:
Austin is a great place to live and there’s always something to do, even during the holiday season. Take advantage of all this city has to offer!
Austin, Texas may be known for a lot of things but one thing that Austin is undoubtedly known for is its countless amounts of music/film/art festivals. Almost every weekend Austin is having some sort of festival for Austinites and tourists to enjoy!
Some of the largest festivals in Austin include: Austin City Limits, Fun Fun Fun Fest, and SXSW (South by Southwest). So if you’re moving to Austin and have never been to a festival, one of these three is definitely a great place to get the experience. Festivals are fun and full of amazing activities and if you want to become an official Austinite, going to one of these festivals will help you get there! You can get weekend passes, one-day tickets, or even sign up to volunteer! Festivals are one of the best ways to get the full Austin experience.
Austin City Limits: Oct. 4-6 & Oct. 11-13, 2013 @ Zilker Park. ACL is one big 3-day spree of music, sweat, and love. This year you can catch big names like Muse, Kings of Leon, and Vampire Weekend along with many others. ACL being in held in October, fall has not caught up yet with Central Texas, so if this is the festival you chose to go to, be prepared for some HEAT. Bring a Camelbak for sure! But besides the heat Austin City Limits is a lively and fun music festival, and unlike Coachella and Bonnaroo, ACL is in a metropolis city and not out in the middle of nowhere.
Fun Fun Fun Fest: Nov. 8-10, 2013 @ Auditorium Shores. I like to say Fun Fun Fun Fest is Austin City Limits’ younger and weirder brother, with its more alternative lineup and crowd. FFF has a mix of music, comedy and skateboarding, you can see names like M.I.A., Rob Delaney, and Mat Hoffman at the many stages set up at Auditorium Shores. If ACL prices and size alarm you, Fun Fun Fun Fest is definitely an awesome alternative!
South by Southwest: March 7-16, 2014 @ all over the place. SXSW is the king of kings when it comes to festivals held in Austin! Southby is a crazy and incredible festival mix of: film, music, and tech. SXSW brings thousands of people from all over the world to our town. This festival is definitely a rite of passage for anyone living in Austin. You can get passes for just film or just for music, or you can do it all! Or you can get passes for none, it’s up to you! But even if you don’t get passes you have to at least spend a day looking for those free shows, party hopping, and celebrity stalking.
These three huge festivals are just some among the MANY festivals held in Texas’ capital. You can also go to check out the smaller festivals like the Pecan Street Festival, Art City Austin, and the Zilker Kite Festival! Austin offers so many different festivals and experiences for everyone to enjoy! I could go on and on but you really just need to experience the City of Festivals for yourself. Embrace the festival life. Be the festival life.