Discover Austin: Pecan Street Festival - Episode 97

Twice a year, artists, crafters, and creators take over the Sixth Street Historic District to showcase their work at one of the largest art and music festivals in the country. Join me as I check out the Pecan Street Festival for this episode of Discover Austin. If you'd like to read about the event, the transcript can be found below the video.

If you enjoy arts and crafts, then I’ve got an outdoor festival you’ll love.  We’re going to visit the Pecan Street Festival on this episode of Discover Austin.

I’m on 6th Street in downtown Austin for The Pecan Street Festival which is among the largest and longest-running arts, crafts, and musical festivals in the US.  You can usually expect to find about 300 local and national artisans, crafters, and food vendors.  And guess what?  It’s free – that’s right! There’s no admission charge.  There really is no shortage of different types of wares – from paintings to pillows, candles to beef jerky, tiles to handmade toys, and a plethora of other products.

There’s no chance a festival on 6th Street won’t have live music.  In fact, over 40 bands play on three stages throughout the two-day event. 

In addition to all the restaurants on 6th Street, there are a lot of food and drink options at the festival, so you definitely won’t go hungry or thirsty.  Personally, I’m not picky when it comes to food – I just want to make sure I’m supporting someone local.  You can’t go wrong with Mighty Cone.

The Pecan Street Festival is also very kid friendly.  You’ll find kiddie-rides, face painting, a petting zoo, street performers, and more.

You may be wondering why the Pecan Street Festival is held on 6th Street.  Well, the streets are one and the same.  When Austin’s streets were originally set up the north south roads were named after Texas rivers and the east west were named after trees.  But back in 1884, they decided to rename the east/west with numbers.  So while now it is 6th Street, it was originally known as Pecan Street.  The festival takes place on 6th between Brazos and I-35.

The Pecan Street Festival takes place two weekends a year – once in May and once in September.  The first one was held in the spring of 1975 to help fund a revitalization of Sixth Street.  The fall edition was added in 1978.  It’s hosted by the Pecan Street Association which is a non-profit comprised of local business owners and artists.  Their goal is to preserve the historic and unique area that is the Sixth Street Historic District. 

Now, this isn’t the first time Discover Austin has been to Sixth Street.  In fact, we’ve visited numerous businesses here:  Esther’s Follies, The Driskill, Casino el Camino, and Museum of the Weird.  So be sure to stop in to visit them, too, while you’re here.  Of course, there are a lot of other 6th Street businesses that are open during the Festival for you to enjoy.

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