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Rodeo Austin, Austin Pride, ACL Fest among big events planning comebacks

Some of Austin's biggest gatherings are planning for in-person events in the months to come.

AUSTIN, Texas — As COVID-19 cases decrease and vaccine demand fades across the Austin area, a handful of the city's biggest events have already announced tentative plans for in-person comebacks.

On May 10, one of Austin's first large-scale productions to announce a cancellation at the start of the pandemic in March 2020 announced it would be returning two years later.

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"Rodeo Austin is looking forward to bringing back Gritty Fun March 12-26, 2022," the rodeo said in an email announcement. "Rodeo Austin remains a mission with a rodeo that brings heritage and entertainment to the community. Mark your calendars for Rodeo Austin 2022! Come be a part of real Texas grit...live and hands on!"

Austin Rodeo has also announced a series of events leading up to the main rodeo, including a gala and youth art show on Feb. 12, a cowboy breakfast on March 4, a barbecue March 4-5, and an "open the chutes" kickoff on March 11. In 2021, Austin Rodeo will also host a sporting clay tournament on Aug. 17.

Also on May 10, Austin Pride announced Saturday, Aug. 14, would be the date to save. On May 19, Austin Pride officially announced this year's parade will be held on that day. Registration is open to participate in the parade.

Austin City Limits Musical Festival also announced earlier this year that it's planning to host the 2021 festival in-person this year at Zilker Park.

Currently, ACL Fest is slated to take place during the weekends of Oct. 1-3 and Oct. 8-10. No lineup announcements have been made just yet.

Meanwhile, SXSW 2021 did hold a virtual event this year. It's also announced dates for 2022 – March 11-20. However, whether that will be in person or virtual remains up in the air.

"We at SXSW are hopeful that once people feel it’s safe enough to return to what will be the new normal of life, there will be a real enthusiasm for getting back to the things that brought them joy or opportunity or just the simple need to be out amongst humanity," the SXSW website states. "We can’t wait to bring people together once again to meet and share ideas. Austin Public Health’s Interim Authority Dr. Mark Escott recently said, 'I’m very confident that SXSW will look normal, or near-normal next year.' We, too, share his optimism that we will be able to hold an in-person event in 2022."

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