This Veteran's Day, honor those that served by attending a ceremony near you, a car show, or by getting a free meal.
While Austin's annual Veterans Day Parade was canceled this year due to COVID-19 restrictions, here are nine other events you can check out today through the weekend.
The American Legion Veterans Day Celebration, 1000 North Georgetown St.
The American Legion will be honoring those who served with free breakfast and lunch, and flag retirement and ceremony. From 8-11 a.m., breakfast will be provided by the ALA Unit 447, and lunch will be provided by H-E-B around noon. The flag retirement will also take place at noon, and the flag ceremony will start at 3 p.m.
Veterans Pocket Park Ribbon Cutting Ceremony, 2200 Veterans Dr.
In light of the parade being canceled, the City of Austin and the Parks and Recreation Department are hosting a ribbon-cutting ceremony for veterans at Veterans Pocket Park. This project is aimed to enhance the exhibition of three war memorials and relocate them to Veterans Park. It will start at 9 a.m.
5th Annual Field of Honor in Georgetown, 445 East Morrow St.
From Nov. 6-14, you can see up to 1,700 flags displayed at San Gabriel Park as the Field of Honor, which is regularly hosted by the Rotary Club of Georgetown. There will also be a Veterans Day Ceremony that will take place today with State Rep. Colonel Terry Wilson and a flyover by the Falcon Flight Team.
Veterans Day Bus Tour, 1202 FM 685
The second annual Veterans Day bus tour, hosted by Clouds XM Events and Cannavetlive, will be starting at Lazydaze in Pflugerville on Nov. 11 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Veterans are welcome to bring guests but they must pay. There will be five to six preselected spots where veterans can eat free, as well as goodie bags and free Cannavetlive t-shirts for the veterans. Tickets are $20 for the bus ride and $20 for a shirt, and limited seats are available.
15th Annual “Heroes and Hot Rods” Car Show, downtown Bastrop
Bastrop Area Cruisers is hosting its 15th annual car show from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Nov. 13 for Veterans Day. Over 400 cars are registered to participate, and the cruise-in starts the day before at 4 p.m. The veterans' tribute march will also run on Nov. 13 from 10:30 a.m. to noon.
WOD For Warriors, 701 Tillery St.
Team RWB is hosting their annual workout of the day to honor veterans. Though WOD For Warriors is held across the nation, their Austin WOD will highlight a Hero Workout. Attendees will also have access to free gear, food, drinks and a chance to win prizes that are over $1,000 in value. Tickets are $20, and the workout can be found on their event page. It will be on Nov. 13 from 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Central Texas Harley-Davidson – Veterans Celebration, 2801 North Interstate 35
The Central Texas Harley-Davidson will be hosting its Veterans Day celebration on Nov. 13 by offering a free lunch starting at noon until they are out of food. Veterans will also receive double points on all purchases they make.
Veterans Day Parade in Kyle, 103 South Front St.
The City of Kyle is partnering with VFW Post 12058 and AMVETS to host their Veterans Day Parade and commemoration on Nov. 13 from 12-6 p.m. The parade will start at the VFW building, go west on Center Street and end at Gregg-Clarke Park. Following the parade will be vendors, family-friendly activities, an Air Force Flyover and fireworks.
Veterans Day Ceremony in Leander, 1011 South Bagdad Road
The City of Leander Parks Department is partnering with H-E-B to host its Veterans Day Ceremony on Nov. 11 starting at 10 a.m at Veterans Park. There will be a presentation of colors, a national anthem, keynote remarks, a time to honor wall names, a patriotic performance and more.
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🗓 All weekend
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
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
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
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.
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
Timmy and Tommy are ready to play.
As the 2-month-old white-and-tabby brothers swat feather wands, chase toys and generally hold court inside Purr-fecto Cat Lounge, a half-dozen potential adoptive parents look on lovingly, trying to get their attention.
“This is kind of like the speed dating of cats,” said Lupita Foster, owner of Purr-fecto Cat Lounge. “I intentionally didn’t put in any tables. That’s why we call it a lounge instead of a cat café because we have these lounge areas where you can sit and relax and cuddle.”
Foster, who has owned a cleaning company, Enviromaids, for 18 years, was inspired to open Purr-fecto Cat Lounge after adopting her own cat, Romeo, from a local shelter.
“When you want to adopt a cat, you have to spend a lot of time with them to get their personality,” Foster said. “I wanted to do something to help the community and something that makes me feel good, that warms my heart. A business with a purpose. This was a perfect idea.”
Actually, a purr-fect idea.
Inspired in part by a cat lounge she visited in Los Angeles, Foster began laying the groundwork for the business in late 2021 and officially opened the doors of Purr-fecto Cat Lounge, located at 2300 S. Lamar Blvd., in July 2022. Since then, she’s worked with rescue organizations such as Fuzzy Texan Animal Rescue and Sunshine Fund Cat Rescue to facilitate nearly 100 cat adoptions.
At any given time, there are 10-15 cats living in the space, which features an ideal blend of calm, cool corners and adorably Instagrammable backdrops with phrases such as “I want to spend all my 9 lives with you.”
Lina Martinez, 32, learned about Purr-fecto Cat Lounge from a friend’s Instagram post and made an appointment to visit two days later.
“My first impression was, ‘AWW!’” Martinez said. “The kittens were to die for. I felt happy and at peace – just what I needed.”
Visitors to the cat lounge pay $15 for a 30-minute CATXperience session or $30 for a 70-minute session that is spent getting to know the personalities of each cat. Foster said the first thing she typically sees from visitors to the lounge is a smile.
“Everybody that enters the door is smiling,” she said. “And we’ve seen people who have cried because they can’t have kids and they decide to go and adopt a cat instead.”
Foster said she loves bringing in cats who might not have a chance to be adopted at traditional shelters. She told the story of one cat named Izzy, who was partially blind, who was adopted by a family that had a deaf cat at home.
“Izzy was not going to get adopted anywhere else, but she’s extremely beautiful,” she said. “If she was in a cage in a rescue and you tell people she’s blind, she was probably going to be overlooked. But visiting our space, she doesn’t seem like she’s blind. She knows her way around. She moves around perfectly.”
Although Martinez, who had been casually looking for a pet to adopt since moving to Austin nearly four years ago, was interested in a cat named Ruby that she had seen on Purr-fecto’s social media, at the lounge she instead found herself drawn to 5-month-old mixed breed Tuxedo cat.
“I thought he was a star,” she said. “He worked the room and introduced himself to everyone. When I laid down to pet Ruby, he ran from the other side of the room and cuddled with me. It was game over. He got me.”
And she, of course, got him, complete with a commemorative photo that read “My Furrever Family” the day she took him home. Although his original name was Emmanuel, she renamed him Sullivan after her favorite DJ.
“Purr-fecto is special because of the amount of effort and love they put into taking care of the cats,” Martinez said, “and finding them good homes and making possible adopters feel at home.”
Foster, who spent a recent Thursday hosting a group of teenagers in foster care at the lounge, several of whom expressed interest in working there, said the best part about her new endeavor is that her heart is always full.
“I just feel complete,” she said. “I always felt as an entrepreneur that I was missing something. I knew I accomplished a lot, but in my heart I was missing a little connection with the community. Now I’m creating connections between humans and pets and that’s amazing. I’m creating family bonds. It’s just about love, you know. And we need that.”