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Photo essay: Austin’s 'Party Island' on Lady Bird Lake

'Party Island' on Lady Bird Lake, seen from above on Aug.8. (Jordan Vonderhaar)

Kayaks, tubes and paddle boards jammed side by side have appeared on Lady Bird Lake throughout the summer, despite local orders prohibiting gatherings and advising social distancing. The crowd of mostly young people at a shallow sandbar where Barton Creek flows into the lake has come to be known by locals as "Party Island."


The draw to Lady Bird Lake's 82-degree waters is understandable. Austin temperatures have soared to 100 degrees or higher for 24 days this month alone, according to AccuWeather, with no break in the forecast.

Mayor Steve Adler's July 14 order to "stay home, mask and otherwise be safe" remains in force, as does a 1964 city ordinance that bans swimming in Lady Bird Lake. Yet the partying continues into this weekend.

Friends and strangers congregate in Lady Bird Lake in what is now being called "Party Island" on Aug 8. (Jordan Vonderhaar)

"Party Island" on Lady Bird Lake, seen from above. (Jordan Vonderhaar)

(Jordan Vonderhaar)

People beat the heat by paddle boarding and kayaking in the waters of Lady Bird Lake. (Jordan Vonderhaar)

(Jordan Vonderhaar)

A crowd gathers Aug. 21 in the lake, despite prohibitions on gatherings of more than 10 people and local ordinances banning swimming in the lake. (Jordan Vonderhaar)

(Jordan Vonderhaar)

A woman paddle boards on Lady Bird Lake in downtown Austin. (Jordan Vonderhaar)

(Jordan Vonderhaar)

People jump from the Barton Creek pedestrian bridge. (Jordan Vonderhaar)

(Jordan Vonderhaar)

Paddle boarders and kayakers enter the lake waters at the Austin High Boat launch. (Jordan Vonderhaar)

(Jordan Vonderhaar)

Paddlers make their way around Lady Bird Lake. (Jordan Vonderhaar)

(Jordan Vonderhaar)

A man and his dog give a young woman a ride from the Austin High Boat launch out to Party Island on Lady Bird Lake. (Jordan Vonderhaar)

(Jordan Vonderhaar)

Various paddlers enter the water at Lou Neff Point—the closest point to the newly formed "Party Island"—on Lady Bird Lake. (Jordan Vonderhaar)

Popular

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