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How To Have a Happy Halloween in Austin

two guys in Halloween costumes on 6th Street
Image courtesy Chris Blackmor
Throngs of costumed revelers will flood 6th street this weekend, like these guys did last year.

Two days left until kids will be knocking at your door requesting candy in exchange for not "tricking" your house with toilet paper. But the parties aren't waiting till Sunday. They start tonight and last all weekend.

Serious business first: This Halloween weekend will be another “No Refusal” weekend in Austin.  Police will be using search warrants to require blood draws if suspected drunk drivers refuse to take a breath test.  Police say they’ll also have more officers downtown and that Saturday is expected to be the busiest night.

If you've never been on 6th Street for Halloween, you should know it's one of the craziest places to be any time of year in Austin.  Here's a video from last year.  Find more videos here.

To allow for throngs of costumed people to flood downtown, part of the I-35 access roads near 6th Street will be closed starting Saturday evening.  Also expect traffic delays in and around U-T for the Baylor game tomorrow.  Here's a map of Saturday street closures in effect from 6 pm until 3 am.

View Halloween 2010 in a larger map

No weapons will be allowed downtown during the festivities, including firearms, swords, clubs, or any sharp items that could harm people. So if you're going to dress up as a pirate for Halloween, just bring the plastic scimitar.

Besides people-watching on 6th Street, bars and venues are hosting a wide range of events. Do512 has got you covered with the details.

For more family oriented events, the City of Austin has posted a list of child-friendly Halloween activities. You can also see those on our 2010 Halloween map.

Another fun activity for kids and kids-at-heart is pumpkin picking. The Statesman has details on several pumpkin patches where you and the kids can pick your own, including the Elgin Christmas Tree Farm, Sweet Berry Farm in Marble Falls, St. John's United Methodist Church, and Tarrytown United Methodist Church.

If you're brave enough to handle it, Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo and members of the force will be performing Michael Jackson's Thriller dance at a haunted house at 7400 Coldwater Canyon Dr. They're doing it to promote breast cancer awareness. Here are show times:

Friday, October 29, 7:30-midnight
Saturday, October 30, 7:30-midnight
Sunday, October 31, 7:30-midnight

Nathan Bernier is the transportation reporter at KUT. He covers the big projects that are reshaping how we get around Austin, like the I-35 overhaul, the airport's rapid growth and the multibillion-dollar transit expansion Project Connect. He also focuses on the daily changes that affect how we walk, bike and drive around the city. Got a tip? Email him at Follow him on X @KUTnathan.