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Austinites Competing in the 2022 National Deaf Pickleball Tournament

L-R standing-Jay Kowalczyk, Vanessa Scarna, Tracy Shannon, Angela Campion, Raychelle Harris. Bottom L-R-Lizzie Bloom, Carrie Lou Bloom.

To say Lizzie Bloom is a fan of the fast growing sport of pickleball may just be an understatement.

"I’m so glad pickleball exists! I’m in two different PB leagues and other nights when I’m not playing league games, I do drills."

Pickleball even made it into her recent wedding plans.

"Carrie Lou and I just got married and we actually looked for pickleball courts so we could keep playing during our honeymoon! And yes, we played everyday — even while honeymooning in Mexico."

So when the latest opportunity to compete came up, she and Carrie Lou were ready to play.

"I wasn’t surprised when I got word about the national deaf pickleball tournament and look forward to seeing over 200 players gather in the name of pickleball."

That's right. Bloom and a team of deaf and hard of hearing Austinites are heading to Florida for the 2022 annual National Deaf Pickleball Tournament that takes place November 3-6.

"It’s an annual tournament hosted by the National Deaf PB Tournament and we’re expecting over 200 deaf folks to attend," said Bloom. "The first one was last year in San Diego, California. This weekend, Thursday-Sunday, will be at the Villages in Florida. Next year it’ll be in Surprise, Arizona. We’re hoping to make a bid for Austin to host it in 2024 or 2025.

I’ve participated in several hearing tournaments but yes, it’s more enjoyable when you can communicate with other participants."

While Bloom says deaf pickleball may be a bit more enjoyable to her, she says it's not a whole lot different from any other pickleball.

"It’s easier to sign the numbers in American Sign Language (ASL) for sure. Bbut honestly, it’s the same. I love a good game and I get that from playing either deaf or hearing folks."

Bloom and her team have been training for the tournament for months.

"I really want to get better at moving opponents and attacking, " said Bloom. "My dink game is strong but I need to be able to change the pace of the ball when they’re attacking me."

But in the end, she hopes to have fun in Florida, improve on her pickleball game, and maybe even cash in.

"Tournament organizers haven’t said anything," said Bloom, "but am hoping for some prize money!"


Tito's releases (not so?) ugly sweater line for the holidays, profits to charity

Tito's Handmade Vodka

Show your love for Tito's and for the community this year with a wide selection of not that ugly, uglyish, ugly, uglier, and ugliest holiday sweaters.

There's lots choose from, and plenty of accessories like scarves and socks, plus gear for your dog, too.

All of the items can be purchased online or at the Love, Tito’s Retail Store in Austin, TX. 100% of all net proceeds from online or in-store purchases go to one of the nonprofits we’ve teamed up with.

Click here to see the entire collection in the Tito's store.

Mac and Cheese Fest and Free Art Exhibit
Waterloo Greenway, Good Vibrations Installation

🗓 All weekend

🎨 Creek Show Art Exhibit

Check out this highly anticipated art exhibition with illuminated art along Waller Creek. Tickets are free and the event includes food vendors, dazzling lights, live music, and hands-on activities

All weekend 6 p.m - 10 p.m | 📍Waterloo Park

✨ Mozart's Light Show

This iconic holiday tradition lights up for the first time this holiday season starting this weekend! Reserve your spot for an enchanting light and sound performance, delicious hot cocoa, sweet treats, and some overall fun with your friends or family. The show runs till January 6th.

6 p.m and 9 p.m | 📍Mozart's Coffee Roasters - 3825 Lake Austin Blvd, Austin, TX 78703

🗓 Saturday

🥊 Kickboxing in the Park

This fitness event is free and open to the public. Get your morning started right with a "Fitness in the park" class for kickboxing! The class will be led by certified instructors and is a great way to get a cardio workout in while also honing your self-defense skills.

10 a.m - 11 a.m | 📍 Metz Park

🛍 The Front Market

Support local LBGTQ+ and female artists at this outdoor market with over 150 vendors. Get your holiday shopping out of the way at this event, with vendors for food trucks, handmade goods, raffles, hands on workshops and activities, and more.

11 a.m - 5 p.m | 📍Ani's Day and Night - 7107 E Riverside Drive, Austin, TX 78741

🗓 Sunday

🧀 Mac and Cheese Fest

Did someone say cheese?! If you're like me and always willing to get your hands on a bowl of mac and cheese, then this event is for you. Check out the Mac and Cheese festival happening this weekend to decide which vendor has. the best mac and cheese for yourself, and enjoy the bar with creative cocktails while you're at it. Tickets start at $45.

11 a.m - 3 p.m | 📍Lantana Place - 7415 Southwest Parkway