For the eightieth year

The four-day Texas Relays track and field meet begins today. The partying and socializing were already unofficially under way last weekend when early arrivals went for a head start on the fun. Texas Relays events at their core are the athletic events, but each year more and more social events accompany this big get-together.

Capital Metro detours will be in effect on Saturday downtown from 3 pm until 6 am Sunday morning. Thousands of vehicles will be on IH-35 and converging on downtown this weekend, but it has been announced that various exit ramps will be closed between 8 pm on Friday and 6 am Saturday morning and again between 7 pm on Saturday and 6 am Sunday morning. Here’s the TxDot list of exits to be closed, along with a map:

MLK lower-deck exit ramp, south-bound;
12th to 11th Streets exit ramp, south-bound;
8th to 6th Streets exit ramp, south-bound;
Cesar Chavez (1st Street) exit ramp, south-bound;
6th Street exit ramp, north-bound; and
the turn-around under IH 35 at 5th Street (south-bound frontage to north-bound frontage)

The idea, evidently, is to force local traffic headed for Sixth Street onto the frontage roads and permit through traffic to flow better.

There are many lists of parties and other events (including the Urban Music Festival); usually has the most complete one. Other places to check are SoulCiti Austin and Urban512. Mitche’s Gallery will have a booth at the Urban Music Fest on Friday and Saturday. At the Web site of the Urban Music Fest is an extensive list of dining establishments under African-American ownership. I hope this stays up after the festival’s over. It’ll be interesting to see how and whether attendance is affected by the proximity of Easter.

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