Happy Friday, Austin! Here's everything you need to know about what's happening in Austin today.
First, today's weather:
Partly sunny and warmer. High: 80 Low: 65.
Here are the top stories in Austin today:
If you're not sure where to take the family and out-of-town guests this holiday weekend, there are several events in Austin that all are sure to enjoy! For a list with details of fun happenings in and around the Austin area this weekend, visit: (Austin Patch)
"Hey Austin!" If you're hoping for a grand and festive holiday celebration, your Christmas wish is sure to come true, as Austin was ranked as one of the best places to celebrate Christmas this year! "A new ranking from personal finance website WalletHub puts Austin at No. 20 among the best places to celebrate Christmas in the U.S. and at No. 1 in Texas." The ranking was "based on 32 factors associated with a festive, affordable Christmas, such as traditions, shopping, and costs." For more information on Austin and other Texas city rankings, visit: (CultureMap Austin)
Ryan Watts, "a transfer from Ohio State and former Texas all-state honoree from Little Elm," became "the 28th member of the Texas Longhorns’ Football 2022 class." Congratulations to Ryan Watts! Texas Football welcomes him to the family! Read more about him here: (TexasSports.com)
UT Austin ranked among the best universities in the U.S. and the world in 2021! "Times Higher Education World University Rankings ranked UT Austin as No. 5 among U.S. public universities, No. 17 in the U.S. and No. 50 in the world. U.S. News & World Report gave it a rank of No. 10 public university in the U.S. and No. 38 among U.S. publics and privates. QS World University Rankings placed it as the No. 6 public university in the U.S. and No. 29 among publics and privates." Congratulations to UT Austin! For more campus highlights, visit: (UT News | The University of Texas at Austin)
The Austin restaurant industry experienced many ups and downs this year, "starting off with record-high COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations in January leading into the devastating winter storm in February and on into a convoluted and confusing vaccination rollout." Despite it all, some good things happened, "from fun openings to celebrations of the local food scene." Here's to a better year! For the most-read Austin eatery stories of 2021, visit: (Eater Austin)
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Today in Austin:
Donate Blood and Get a Free 'We Are Blood' Sweatshirt at We Are Blood Donation Center or Mobile Drive. (9 a.m.)
Donate Blood for a Chance to Win Holiday Giveaway Prizes at We Are Blood Donation Center or Mobile Drive. (9 a.m.)
We Are Blood Holiday Mall Drives Return to Barton Creek Square, Lakeline Mall and The Arboretum. (10:30 a.m.)
From my notebook:
"Happy Birthday to Lady Bird Johnson from Lyndon Baines Johnson Library and Museum! Claudia Alta Taylor, better known as Lady Bird Johnson, was born in Karnack, Texas. Learn more about her life and legacy in our new temporary exhibit 'Lady Bird: Beyond the Wildflowers.' Tickets are available now at www.lbjlibrary.org." (Facebook)
"We want to express our gratitude to each and every one of you who made our Spread the Joy campaign a very special one at The Settlement Home for Children. Thank you for sponsoring our children's wish lists, donating materials for gift wrapping and volunteering to wrap the gifts! Happy holidays!" (Facebook)
"The Butler School of Music's Trombone Choir at The University of Texas at Austin wrapped up the semester by spreading some holiday cheer on campus!" (Facebook)
"Happy holidays from Literacy First! We wish our community a safe, joyous, and book-filled remainder of the season!" (Facebook)
"The Caritas of Austin family is very grateful for the clients, staff, community partners, volunteers, and supporters who made our mission and work possible this year. Wishing Happy Holidays to all!" (Facebook)
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You're all caught up for today! Meagan Falcon is out for today, but she will catch up with you bright and early with another update when she returns! I hope you enjoyed today's newsletter! Thank you and Happy holidays!
— Gabriela Couvillion
About me: I'm an active mom of two grown sons and lifelong San Antonio resident. I received a BA in Spanish from the University of Texas at San Antonio, and in my free time I immerse myself in creative writing. Thanks for reading Patch, and feel free to reach out if you have any news and happenings you think may appeal to our readers!