Pecan Street Festival 2012

On Sunday afternoon, Stephen and I took a long walk downtown to scope out the 31st annual Pecan Street Festival on 6th Street.

funny sign at pecan street festival

It was such a nice day to be outside- breezy and slightly overcast.

6th Street pecan street festival

6th Street was absolutely jam-packed with families, dogs, tents for live music, local artists and deep fryers.

glass longhorn wine stoppers for sale at the pecan street festival

On the far west end on 6th Street, we found a local artisan selling these beautiful glass wine stoppers in the shape of longhorns. Looking at this picture, I really wish I had just gone ahead and bought one. They’d make a perfect Christmas gift paired with a bottle of wine from one of the Hill Country vineyards.

laser cut lanterns for sale pecan street festival

These laser-cut lanterns were another festival favorite for us. Each piece showed incredible care and detail. We overheard the artist explain to a customer that he uses a robot to achieve such accuracy and precision. Stephen’s ears perked up at that; he loves anything AI.

Several tents were occupied by local painters. After strolling both sides of the street, we made two conclusions about Austin artists, at least those displaying at Pecan Street. Spooky art is in. And pets and animals are popular subject matter. We both really dug the spooky art (think dark, drippy portraits of Ronald McDonald and the Sesame Street gang), but I don’t think I’m the sort of person who will ever hang an 8 x 10 painting of my pet above the mantel.

pumpkin beer on 6th street

Any good fall festival should serve pumpkin beer. Pecan Street did not disappoint.

jugglers at the pecan street festival

The festival was largely geared towards families and offered plenty of kid-friendly rides and attractions. I was majorly jealous of this little girl on the slingshot ride (or whatever it’s called).

pecan street festival

She was such a tiny thing that the pull of the bands kept her suspended and motionless. The ride operators had to continuously walk out and tug her ankles down to give her some spring.

bouncy ride at pecan street festival

Boing!

She was in heaven; nothing but giggles. Her reaction made me think of the annual Fall Festival at my elementary school in Virginia. I felt like such a big girl the first time I was old/tall enough to strap into the ride that twisted and tumbled left, right and upside down.

kettle korn festival food

Pecan Street offered plenty of entertainment in the form of street performers, live music, and sponsor booths, but I think the biggest attraction for more most festival-goers was the food.

We saw all of the classics- kettle corn, frozen lemonade, corn dogs, turkey legs, and funnel cake- and several regional specialties, like alligator-on-a-stick, spiraled Texas taters and fried catfish.

jello shots

Having eaten lunch just a few hours before, we decided a long walk around town was in order to help us work up an appetite for fair food. The Texas State Capitol is just a few blocks north of 6th Street, so we headed there next.

Texas state capitol facade

entrance to Texas state capitol

floor of the Texas state capitol

I’ve been to the Capitol at least once before, but my last visit was probably five years ago. It was fun to poke around and snap a few photos.

under the dome Texas state capitol

The Capitol building is the heart of Austin. State law even protects a number of view corridors to ensure that the building can be seen clearly from different locations around town.

view down congress avenue

Congress Avenue is one corridor example. Sadly, I know developers are always pushing for revisions to the rule.

Texas taters and fried catfish at pecan street festival

After a couple hours of walking, we returned to 6th Street, ready to eat. Stephen demanded fried meat and/or meat-on-a-stick, and I had my eyes set on the spiraled Texas taters (they’re sort of like potato chips). The fried catfish platter was a perfect compromise.

I’m so glad we decided to check out the festival; we had a really fantastic time. See you next year, Pecan Street!

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