Amanda Ross

Farewell from the Trends Editor


I’ve always subscribed to the philosophy that leaving Texas State in just four years is a lot like leaving the party at 10 p.m., so you can imagine my disappointment when I met with my adviser and found out I could graduate in three. Forget leaving at 10 p.m., I barely even made it to the party.

Volunteer opportunities provide multiple ways to give back


Giving back this holiday season is now easier than ever thanks to volunteer opportunities created by charitable organizations in and around Hays County. The Star has compiled a list of opportunities for students to do some good before going back home.

Hays County Food Bank

Picks of the Week


For a fairly small area, the 512 is home to an event that satisfies satisfy even the most niche of needs. San Marcos and its surrounding area has something for everyone this weekend from an evening centered on the traditional German Wassail drink to a competition over who can cook the most creatively with pecans.

For the environmentalist:

Forever Fest promotes ‘girl power’


The limit on how many times we can watch our favorite films doesn’t exist, and the people at Forever Fest know it. The event’s organizers are determined to fill in the girly gap left by other major film festivals in Austin and beyond. Forever Fest brings patrons a weekend of the best in feminine pop culture, including girl power brunches, classic chick flicks and panels picking the brains of the industry’s most powerful women.

The event’s screenings and panel take place Nov. 14-16 at the newly renovated Alamo Drafthouse on South Lamar, while the too-great-to-be-missed after-parties can be found a few doors down at the Highball.

Music Picks


OCT. 23


Shane Smith and the Saints stop by Cheatham Street Warehouse promoting their latest album, “Coast,” as part of a Texas-wide tour. The group’s music is unique in that it appeals to both country and rock fans. Their songs’ subject matter is formulaically country, shouting out small Texas towns and big cities and the highs and lows of life, while Smith’s smooth, nearly twang-free voice keeps his work from being pigeonholed into one particular genre. Highlights from the album are “Highway,” which discusses growing older—and gives a nod to favorite Austin locales—and “Work Was Through,” an easy-listening hit featuring Texas country star Aaron Watson.

OCT. 24





The second annual San Marcos Oktoberfest, hosted by the Parks and Rec department, kicks off Thursday at the Activity Center with a night filled with dinner and dancing. For $25, patrons are treated to a Root Cellar buffet stuffed with authentic German food including jager schnitzel, red cabbage, sauerkraut, strudel and beer bread. Following dinner, dancing gets going at 7 p.m. against a backdrop of German jams and contemporary hits by 3rd Generation.


Q&A The Lonely Biscuits, Funk-Rock-Pop fusion group


Everything about funk-rock-pop fusion group The Lonely Biscuits would indicate they have been at this a long, long time. Though the group is nothing if not seasoned and professional, many would be surprised to learn band members Nick Byrd, Sam Gidley, Grady Wenrich and John Paterini are still enrolled as seniors at the illustrious Belmont University. “We miss a lot of Friday classes,” Nick, the group’s bassist, laughed, explaining that the school works with them to allow for band-related travel. And it’s paid off.

ACL, Austin City Limits 2014


Thousands of festival-goers made their annual pilgrimage Friday from woefully overpriced parking garages downtown to Zilker Park’s grassy 48 acres, their Urban Outfitters-clad bodies signifying the kickoff of ACL’s second (and even bigger) weekend.

Like 2013’s Weekend Two, rainstorms stopped the party temporarily, though, fortunately for festivalgoers, only until noon Saturday. Despite colder temperatures and mud puddles abound, patrons showed up in droves, excited for one of the biggest weekends in the festival’s 13-year history.

Eminem, OutKast, Pearl Jam and Beck headlined this year’s festival, all of which played old classics and new favorites for the generations of fans attending the event.

Best of the Fest: Austin City Limits, Day One


Thousands of festival-goers made their annual pilgrimage Friday from woefully overpriced parking garages downtown to sunny Zilker Park, their Urban Outfitters-clad bodies signifying the kickoff of ACL’s second (and even bigger) weekend. Though there were dozens of artists and several acres of festival to get through on day one, we did the leg work to separate the Snapchat-worthy from the so-so with our inaugural Best of the Fest coverage. Here are our picks:




SeaWorld’s Howl-O-Scream: terror for all tastes


Featuring five separate haunted mazes, three roller coasters running by moonlight and dozens of dedicated actors roaming the premises ready to scare unsuspecting patrons, SeaWorld San Antonio’s Howl-O-Scream event has set up shop as one of the city’s best Halloween attractions.

San Antonio is, as its natives know, a town that embraces ghost stories. Alamo city kids have grown up with the Donkey Lady, the haunted railroad and regular trips to the now-defunct Nightmare on Grayson, but there has long been a need for an in-between approach to Halloween in San Antonio. The city needed something to bridge the gap between the heart-stopping, gore-filled haunted houses downtown and family-friend trick-or-treating, and SeaWorld has finally filled that spot.


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