This year marks the 20th anniversary of 9/11—a day many Americans will never forget.
Here are some ways you can commemorate 9/11 in Austin this year.
9/11 Memorial Ceremony at Buford Fire Tower, 201 West Cesar Chavez Street
7:30 a.m. Saturday
The Austin Firefighters Association will be hosting its annual memorial to honor 9/11, open to the public. At 9:30 a.m., firefighters in complete gear take part in a memorial climb at Pleasant Valley Drill Tower, which will mimic the height of the World Trade Center.
9/11 Memorial Stair Climb, 12700 Hill Country Blvd.
7:46 a.m. Saturday
This annual stair climb is open to the public to support representatives from the Bee Cave Police, Lakeway Police and Lake Travis Fire Rescue to undergo this challenge, climbing an equivalent of the World Trade Center's 110 stories. The event begins at the exact time the first flight crashed into the World Trade Center. The climb will take place at Parking Garage A near Dillard's.
Memorial Tower Climb, 9201 Circuit of the Americas Blvd.
8 a.m. to noon, SaturdayThe Circuit of the Americas will be working in partnership with the nonprofit Samaritan Center to pay respect to the first responders who lost their lives on 9/11. Locals will be invited to climb the stairs of the tower to the observation deck and back down four times, mimicking the 110 floors in the World Trade Center. This event is open to all ages and fitness levels, and registration is $30 online. Participants will receive a poster memorializing the event and t-shirts will be for sale onsite. Funds from the t-shirts and event will go toward supporting the Samaritan Center, which provides mental health services for veterans, first responders, members of the military and their families.
Ride for the Badge Motorcycle Ride & Party, 10917 South Interstate 35
8:30 a.m. Saturday
The Cowboy Harley-Davidson of Austin is hosting a tribute ceremony, motorcycle ride and party to honor this year's 9/11. The event will start at the Cowboy Harley-Davidson building with a ceremony featuring a moment of silence, national anthem, and first responders, military members and veterans recognition. This portion of the event is free to the public. The bike ride will start around 10:45 a.m. and it will end at the Texas Ranger Heritage Center in Fredericksburg. Tickets for the ride cost around $35 for each rider and participants will receive a free breakfast, swag bag, t-shirt, lunch and raffle ticket. The party at the heritage center will last from noon to 5 p.m., which will feature a raffle, vendors, live music and food.
Rotary Club of Northwest Austin 9/11 Tribute, 8600 Balcones Club Dr.
9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Saturday
In honor of 9/11, the Rotary Club of Northwest Austin placed 300 American flags across the street from the main entrance of the Balcones Country Club, one flag each representing around 10 lives lost. The memorial this weekend will recognize those who died on 9/11. Then, Boy Scout Troop 513 will post the colors, pray, recite the pledge of allegiance and sing the national anthem.
Bagpipes and Drums at the Texas Capitol, 1100 Congress Ave.
The Emergency Service Pipes and Drums Association will perform in the rotunda in the Texas State Capitol to honor those who lost their lives on 9/11. This Central Texas band is made up of firefighters, police and paramedics.
Claude van Lingen's 9/11 Memorial: The 20th Anniversary, 5419 Glissman Road
4-10 p.m. Saturday
At Co-Lab Projects, they will be hosting an opening reception to commemorate those who died on 9/11 as well as through the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. The exhibition will feature two large drawings that include the names of the 2,753 victims of the World Trade Center, the 125 victims from the Pentagon attack, the 39 victims from the Pennsylvania crash, the 2,500 victims from the wars in Afghanistan and the 4,000+ victims from the wars in Iraq. These names will be updated regularly, and during the exhibition, visitors will be asked to create a collaborative piece to honor the 9/11 victims.
Memorial Mount Climb, 3800 Mt Bonnell Road
Bear Creek Performance Training typically hosts a climbing event and fundraiser to honor 9/11 but unfortunately, this event has been canceled due to COVID-19. However, they encourage locals to still make the climb on their own, hiking up Mount Bonnell's 102 steps 44 times to mimic the Twin Tower stairs. The public is also welcome to donate to Team Red, White & Blue, the nonprofit that typically benefits from this event and connects veterans to the community through physical and social activity. Mount Bonnell is free to access and has free parking on site.
East Austin restaurant la Barbecue has been robbed a third time in less than three months, according to a post on the restaurant's Instagram.
In the post, the restaurant included photos of what appeared to be a man exiting a minivan from surveillance footage.
"This guy pulled up in a car full of stuff… he ripped our gate open and stole a couple empty kegs," the post said. "The ring system scared him off so he did not venture back into the area. PLEASE EVERYONE ON THE EAST SIDE BE CAREFUL!!! This guy goes back into his car to grab something before he goes in. I am hoping he won’t be back!!"
The robbery comes as many restaurant and food truck owners have been on guard from recent break-ins. East Austin cheesesteak truck R&B's Steak and Fries has also been robbed three times in around three months, according to owner Kris Elliott. Elliot said the truck was last robbed around a month and a half ago.
"When the weather gets cold, it seems like these things start to happen more often," Elliott said. "We're just happy no one got hurt."
Additionally, he said all 5 of the food trucks in their lot have experienced burglaries. The landlord of the space is taking action by investing in alarm and camera systems. "Been very tough dealing with this problem as us small business owners are just trying to survive during the pandemic," Elliott said.
And it's not just in East Austin. North Austin restaurants Eldorado Cafe and Chez Zee Bistro were both broken into and robbed on the weekend of Jan. 8, while over a dozen food truck robberies and break-ins were reported in the latter half of 2021.
Some, like Chez Zee's Deborah Velasco, wonder if the understaffed Austin Police Department's decision to no longer respond to non-emergency calls is part of the problem. Xose Velasco, owner of East Austin's Discada, said owners are keeping their guard up in the wake of the robberies as he was robbed twice within a month of reopening in November 2021.
"We try to keep the lights on," Velasco said. "We're a little bit more careful."
After 12 months, the long-anticipated massive Tesla factory in Southeast Travis County is up and operating and everyone wants a look inside.
Phase 1 of Giga Texas appears to be tied up as production of the Model Y Tesla is underway, the electric car company revealed on Wednesday in its fourth-quarter earnings call. The factory, located on the former Harold Green-turned Tesla Road, sits on more than 2,000 acres of land in southeast Travis County.
Here's a glimpse inside the factory.
Model Ys will be the first Teslas to come out of Giga Texas with an estimated delivery of August. The wait estimate comes after Tesla noted supply chain issues have affected their factories, which have been running below capacity for several quarters. A deep blue metallic like this goes for $1,000 more than a white or silver Model Y, totaling $61,990.
Model Ys began being produced at Giga Texas at the end of 2020. In general assembly at the factory, the Teslas get their major interior components to finish the vehicle.
Workers at Austin's Gigafactory are attaching seats to a structural battery pack. It's been described by some as the biggest difference between Texas-made Model Y's and the current version at the Fremont, California factory. It shouldn't have a major impact on the owner's experience, but Tesla has updated instructions for the jacking procedure, as the lift points are different.
With a sleek, open office setup, workers can take in a view of the factory from their seats. It's a component CEO Elon Musk wanted for what is now the headquarters of Tesla.
On the Austin, Texas public location Snapchat, a photo of inside Giga Texas has appeared. On the left you can see a sneak peek of a Model Y body.pic.twitter.com/N7zliZ5vkL— Sawyer Merritt (@Sawyer Merritt) 1643081462
With Snapchat's maps, anyone can look at everyday activity happening at the factory. To view these geographically-linked stories, click the bottom left "map" icon and search "Tesla Giga Texas." Once you've found it, you can view the Snapchat story of those in and around the facility. While most stories stay up for only 24 hours, Giga Texas is a designated place on Snapchat, allowing users to view a collection of photos and videos from the inside.
Following Model Ys, Texas-made Teslas will include the Cybertruck, Semi and Model 3. But it might be a while before those other models arrive. EV makers have been hit hard by the chip shortage, and it's thought that changing features are contributing to Cybertruck delays as Tesla works to compete in the electric pickup market.
Joe Rogan paid a visit to buddy Elon Musk this week. The two have been seen around town since both moving to Texas. Naturally, Rogan was impressed with the prototype.
If you're dying to get a closer look at this factory, you just might get to. In December, Musk said the factory would have tours available to the community early this year.
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