The Essential Guide to Cherrywood Happenings

By Jennifer Potter-Miller
Cross-posted from the Nov. 2018 Flea

One of the best things about living in Cherrywood is the sheer number of fun neighborhood events. There are several that happen annually, and we wanted to start off the first Flea issue of the year with a roundup in case you’re new to the ‘hood or newly interested in getting out.

Don’t miss the illustrated timeline of events on p. 7 of the print Flea by neighbor Caitlin Alexander!

The biggest gatherings of the year are the three parades down French Place to Cherrywood Green on Mardi Gras, the Fourth of July, and Halloween. The Mardi Gras parade (Feb. 13) is only three years old, and was inspired by New Orleans transplant Emili Krantz’s wish to celebrate her daughter’s recovery from leukemia. The Krantz family leads the crowd, which is full of families wearing masks, tossing beads, and making as much noise as possible. There’s king cake to share at the Green, and nobody needs to eat dinner afterwards (at least at my house).

Cherrywood Mardi Gras 2017. Photo by J. Potter-Miller.

The Fourth of July parade has been going on for decades, and is traditionally led by Jeanne Arbuckle and Ray Jordan. There are all kinds of decorations and costumes (even for pet goats) and cookies, watermelon and lemonade at the Green.

4th of July parade-photo by Jen Loving

Photo by Jen Loving

The Halloween parade is legendary. You don’t need a kid to join in. Along with spooky decorations and candy galore there are adult beverages at several stops along the way. Neighbors do their best to keep Austin weird and we love ’em for it! Most years someone organizes a costume contest and a Robin Hood-style candy drive and redistribution, so people who get no trick or treaters at their place can help out the French Place folks who so generously welcome the ghoulish hordes.

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There are events at the park too, including It’s My Park Day (Mar. 3), when folks of all ages can pitch in to give neighborhood green spaces some TLC. Patterson Park hosts luminarias and an Easter egg hunt (Mar. 31), as well as an opening day swim party at the park’s pool.

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Cherrywood has a strong sharing culture, and if you need to borrow a tool, chances are you can find it on NeighborNet. We also have two Plant & Book Swaps (Mar. 24) and Childrens’ Clothing swaps per year, where you can bring items you no longer need and take something home that’s new to you. Or come empty handed—there’s always more than enough!

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Maplewood hosts a Back to School Ice Cream Social every year, as well as the Cherrywood Art Fair, a holiday shopping extravaganza that has attracted artists and customers from all over town since 2003. Artists in the neighborhood (usually 18 to 20) have another chance to showcase and sell their creations during the East Austin Studio Tour in November.

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The newest event with the potential to be another neighborhood tradition is the Cherrywoodstock music festival. This was held at Patterson in 2016 and featured 11 neighborhood bands. People have been asking whether there will be another one ever since, and there’s certainly no shortage of musicians nearby. What do you think? Should we make this happen? If we know one thing, it’s that Cherrywooders love to have fun together!

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All photos by J. Potter-Miller unless otherwise noted.

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