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Arts & Culture

Jazz, Bats, And Canoeing Downtown: Your Weekend Is Here!

From jazz, to canoe races to bats racing out to breakfast - -we've found a stack of fun things to do for the weekend. First off, let's go for the music. The Balcones Jazz Festival wraps its summer run.

 "Tonight we have somebody whose album topped the charts for 51 weeks."

 

Lorenzo Nastazi is talking about four-time Grammy-nominated Stanley Jordan. The multi-instrumentalist has been wowing jazz audiences since the mid '80s.

 

"And then we also have Onel Jimenez, who's a local architect, who's performing jazz; he's a great saxophonist."

 

Nastazi says the Wonderland of the Americas Mall event has a lot of positives going for it.

 

"Free parking, free admission, you can go inside to cool off..."

 

And that's important on a hot summer night. Then Saturday morning Paula Schechter says head to the River Walk.

 

"This is like one of the greatest River Walk traditions ever."

 

She's talking about the Ford Canoe Challenge. The one time where people can actually canoe downtown. And it's a race.

 

"Our motto is compete, laugh, get wet, have fun."

 

There are Boy Scouts, corporate teams, and dozens of people who will race the western end of the River Walk. The scouts start early at 7a.m. followed by the corporate folks.

 

"And the celebrities start last; they're at 9:30."

 

Local TV anchors without TV makeup--that should be fun. Also this weekend, head north.

 

"It kind of looks like a tornado of bats. It's pretty amazing to see."

 

Nyta Brown runs Old Tunnel State Park, and she's talking about their nightly emergence to feed.

 

"There's two viewing areas to see them at the park, and one of them is free every night of the week and the lower area is open Thursday through Sunday for a $5 fee."

 

We're not talking about a few dozen bats flying out--it's huge.

 

"Our population of Mexican Freetail Bats is about 3 million."  

 

 

Find more about the Balcones Heights Jazz Festival here

 

Find more on the Ford Canoe Challenge here.

 

Find more on the Old Tunnel State Park here.