Austin is buzzing with activity this weekend, drawing a diverse crowd.
Irish songs and garb kicked off the morning in Austin with the city's first ever St. Patrick's Day parade (though, St. Patty's Day is on March. 17). Police and firefighters, military and friends marched up Congress Avenue at 9 a.m. in celebration of Irish culture. Money raised benefited the St. Balderick's Foundation.
Lots of people are in town for the SXSW conference. This weekend, techies invade the Austin Convention Center for the interactive portion of the event. Apple made a splash yesterday unveiling its iPad 2 at the Apple "pop-up shop" at 6th and Congress. SXSWi has become a mecca for launching the next-big-web-thing and for selling your product. Remember Twitter? KUT's Nathan Bernier is at SXSWi. Follow him for updates and check out his story on advertising that has plastered the festival.
There are plenty of athletes in Austin this weekend, too. High school basketball all-stars hit the Erwin Center court this morning for the last day of the UIL state championship games. Cedar Park High School lost in the semi-finals. This evening, Marcus H. S. from Lewisville ISD faces Lakeview Centennial from Garland ISD at 8:30 p. m. for the 5A championship.
Rodeo Austin is rocking the Travis County Expo Center with concerts tonight and live rope and ride. Congratulations to Ashley Timmons of Dripping Springs H. S. She is this year's Reserve Champion for the Rodeo Awesome Reporter contest. Students created a video news story about agriculture. Caitlyn Aymx of Deer Park High School earned the Grand Champion spot.
And for some civic engagement, teachers, students, parents, and school administrators from across Texas will descend upon the South Steps of the Capitol for the Save Texas Schools rally against state education budget cuts. Here in Austin, the school district is looking to eliminate more than a thousand jobs. The Austin-American Statesman this morning is reporting that even school athletics will take a hit.
Swimming, tennis and golf coaches at some high schools might have to coach more than one team at different schools, including those that could play against each other, under a proposal aimed at trimming the Austin school district's athletic budget.
The proposed cut of more than $500,000, or 5 percent, from athletics is just a sliver of the projected $94 million budget hole for 2011-12, but district officials said all departments must help close the gap.
The massive crowd of education workers, parents and students will begin their march to the Capitol at 11 a. m. on Trinity Street and rally at the Capitol at 12 p. m. KUT will have the story at 4 p.m. on All Things Considered.