Lonestar Round Up, A Wide Open Weekend in Austin
Story and Photos by Todd Ryden
2017 Lonestar Round Up. Austin, Texas, is known for many things; the State Capital, South by Southwest, Stevie Ray Vaughan, University of Texas (hook ‘em horns), live music, a technology hub, and more. A funky town with a command to “Keep Austin Weird” by its inhabitants, the city is little bit Berkeley mixed with some barbecue and bookstores. In early April however, it is known as the epicenter of traditional rods, customs, and culture. The 2017 Lonestar Round Up was a wide open weekend in Texas hill-country thanks to perfect weather and a nationwide rallying cry for rod and custom rebel rousers.
The 2017 Round Up is a festival of flat paint, steel wheels, candy, flake, and flames. Traditional hot rods and customs, great music and food make it a popular destination. Not only is the show itself a blast but it’s the after-hours events that add to its appeal. Once you peel away from the sprawling Travis County Fairgrounds on the banks of Austin’s Walter E. Long Lake after a day at the show, the evening entertainment goes off.
As evening melts into night, there is a multitude of hoppin’ happenin’s downtown. Steve Wertheimer’s Continental Club is ground zero for power parkers and Texas rockabilly all through the night. Top Notch Burgers hosts a cruise night and drive-in movie, Austin Speed Shop hosts a rollicking kickoff party/open house, Jo’s Coffee on Congress Ave (right across from the Continental Club), serves up more music and java and you can grab a Home Slice right down the street. Day and night – it’s go, go, go.
The Round Up is hosted by the local club, the Kontinentals and was started 15 years ago when a small group of like-minded traditional rodders gathered at an old high school football stadium for an afternoon. Since then, the show has been growing ever since yet continues to be fueled by its original mission: to celebrate hot rods and customs, drive them, and enjoy the experience with others.
The fairgrounds swing open to ’63 and older vehicles only, and the mix is as eclectic as the city itself. There’s amazing customs, classic rods, the art of the rat-rod, gassers, tri-fives, and loads of vintage pickups. As you would expect from Austin, the Kontinentals serve up some outstanding music throughout the two days along with gratuitous grub from local BBQ to Amy’s Ice Cream and Oasis- brewed beer.
Worthy of an annual Texas trek, the Lonestar Round Up offers a hot rod landscape that is grand on any scale. Fueled by Austin’s creative vibe and cultural scene, the kool kulture of cars, the overwhelming number of foodie stops, live music, hot women, and cold beer make it THE Spring destination for anyone with a thirst for fun.
Enjoy the sights!