The 2014 Formula 1 US Grand Prix just ended a few hours ago. Bill and I didn’t go out to see the race at the Circuit of the Americas, but we did watch some of the action on TV this afternoon. As in previous years, downtown Austin was relatively quiet during the daytime when everyone was out at the racetrack. Evenings were crowded, especially on Friday, which was also Halloween.
Planned in conjunction with the 2013 Formula 1 United States Grand Prix, Austin Fan Fest took over 12 square blocks of downtown this week. Obviously lots of lessons were learned from last year’s inaugural event. One key change was that local media encouraged Austinites to attend Fan Fest instead of scaring everyone away with predictions of gridlocked traffic.
In celebration of the inaugural Formula One race last weekend, nine blocks of downtown were closed for a free street festival called Austin Fan Fest. Corporate sponsors such as Mobil, eBay, and Red Bull set up large tents containing mostly race cars and video games. Food trailers were in abundance. Vendors sold racing-related merchandise including F1-licensed clothing and artwork. A Kids Zone featured family-friendly activities: Hot Wheels races, face painting, live music, inflatables, and racing games.