Holy Bat Fest, Batman!

Last Saturday the City of Austin sponsored Bat Fest: Night of the Bat. Our city is home to the largest urban bat colony in North America from March until November. Each evening around sundown, locals and tourists gather on the Congress Avenue Bridge to watch the bats emerge and head off in search of food. Sounds like a good reason for a festival!
Bat Fest kicked off in the early afternoon with a screening of the original Batman movie at the Paramount Theatre. Back in 1966 the Paramount had actually hosted the world premiere for this film to repay the local company who built the Batboat. There was no sign of a boat this time, but we did get to see a Batmobile which was parked outside the theater. Based a detailed Batmobile Wikipedia article and the Texas license plate, I think this was a replica and not the original car. But it was still black and shiny and fun to look at. 
Adam West, who played Batman in the 60’s TV series and in the movie, participated in a Q&A session before the show. He had kind words to say about his movie co-stars: Burt Ward (Robin), Cesar Romero (The Riddler), Lee Meriwether (Catwoman), Burgess Meredith (The Penguin) and Frank Gorshin (The Joker). He noted that his corniest line ever was in this movie: “Some days you just can’t get rid of a bomb.” Of course the audience roared at this line later during the movie.

Since Saturday’s afternoon high was 107°, Bill and I waited until evening before visiting the outdoor festival on the Congress Avenue Bridge. Two stages for live music were set up on either end of the bridge with food and vendor tents in between. We listened to Suzanne Choffel (she’s playing at everything in Austin this summer), The Black and White Years and Bob Schneider.

One of the more interesting sights at Bat Fest was this “Bat Cow” from the Austin Cow Parade exhibit. 

You can see the artist’s concept in my photo (of a poster) below. The idea seems to be that this bat-wrapped cow would be suspended from underneath the Congress Avenue Bridge. I can only imagine the 9-1-1 calls that would result if this plan had actually been implemented.

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