Plus, a 150-year-old tree finds a new life Downtown.
 
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Today’s Forecast

69º | Rainy | 87% chance of rain | Sunrise 7:28 a.m. | Sunset 5:42 p.m.

 
✈️ Do not disturb: on
The Pennybacker Bridge as seen from an overlook
Remember to stay safe on the roads this Thanksgiving. | Photo by ATXtoday
This year’s Thanksgiving travel could result in the busiest weekend of the busiest year yet at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport.

Austin’s not alone. More than 55.4 million Americans are expected to travel between today and Sunday, Nov. 26 — the highest number since 2019 and third-most since 2000.

Today is expected to be one of the busiest days for travel, with ~49,000 flights scheduled nationally, so let’s dig in to how to make the best of it.

Driving

About 89% of travelers this year will arrive at their Thanksgiving festivities via car. Fortunately, gas prices currently cost an average of $2.72 per gallon in Texas, compared to ~$2.96 last year.

Steps for success
  • Avoid peak times on the road on the predicted busiest travel days:
    • Wednesday, Nov. 22:
      • Best time to drive: Before 11 a.m.
      • Worst time: 2-6 p.m.
    • Sunday, Nov. 26:
      • Best time to drive: Before 12 p.m.
      • Worst time: 3-5 p.m.
  • Above all, stay safe. Austin, Dallas, Houston, San Antonio, and Fort Worth rank among the most dangerous traffic cities during this holiday period.
A plane flying over Austin-Bergstrom International Airport at dusk.

Play it safe — arrive early.

|

Photo via Tim Griffith

Flying

Experts predict this holiday season will see the highest number of air travelers since 2005. With nine of the 10 busiest days in airport history recorded this year, Austin-Bergstrom International Airport is also likely to see a busy weekend.

Steps for success
  • Plan your transportation ahead of time.
  • Get there earlier than you think. Airport officials recommend arriving 2.5 hours before domestic flights and 3 hours before international flights.
  • Coming home with leftovers? As long as it’s solid, non-liquid food, you’re good to go.
 
Asked
 
Are you traveling for Thanksgiving?

A. No, I’m staying home
B. Yes, I’m flying
C. Yes, I’m driving
D. Yes, I’m taking a different form of transportation
 
Events
 
Wednesday, Nov. 22
  • Travis Scott | Wednesday, Nov. 22 | 8 p.m. | The Moody Center, 2001 Robert Dedman Dr., Austin | $41-$216 | The rapper’s “Circus Maxima” tour will stop in Austin with special guest Teezo Touchdown.
  • “A Christmas Carol” | Now-Sunday, Dec. 31 | Times vary | ZACH Theatre, 202 S. Lamar Blvd., Austin | $25-$99 | The annual rendition of the Dickens classic returns for weeks of family friendly fun.
Friday, Nov. 24
  • Austin Flea: Black Friday & Small Business Saturday | Friday, Nov. 24-Saturday, Nov. 25 | 12-5 p.m. | Still Austin Whiskey Co., 440 E. St. Elmo Rd., Ste. F, Austin | Free | Support local businesses on one of the biggest shopping weekends of the year at this two-day pop-up market.
  • Oklahoma City Blue vs. Austin Spurs | Friday, Nov. 24 | 7 p.m. | H-E-B Center at Cedar Park, 2100 Ave. of the Stars, Cedar Park | $10-$160 | Cheer on the Austin Spurs as they take on Oklahoma City.
Saturday, Nov. 25
  • Light up the Plaza | Saturday, Nov. 25 | 5-8 p.m. | Hill Country Galleria, 12700 Hill Country Blvd., Bee Cave | Free | Explore a holiday market, take photos with Santa, and hear live music from Gunnar Latham and Kaitlin Butts at this tree lighting event.
Plan Ahead
  • Yule in the Garden | Saturday, Dec. 2-Sunday, Dec. 3 | 10 a.m.-3 p.m. | Zilker Botanical Garden, 2220 Barton Springs Rd., Austin | Free with admission | Kick off the month with nature-based activities, holiday music from the Austin Camerata String Quartet, and hot drinks available for purchase.
Click here to have your event featured.
 
 
News Notes
 
Civic
  • Austin’s Homeless Strategy Division will become its own office next month, leaving its current position within Austin Public Health and reporting directly to the City Manager’s Office. The Homeless Strategy Office will continue to oversee city-run shelters and housing programs.
Biz
  • Austin’s unemployment rate fell to 3.4% last month, 0.2 percentage points lower than in September. In the last year, the Capital City added 35,900 non-farm payroll jobs, ranking No. 11 among the 50 largest metro areas.
Holiday
  • UT is getting in on the holiday glow. The university will run the inaugural Longhorn Lights, a free light show along Guadalupe Street, from Wednesday, Nov. 29 to Monday, Jan. 1. Synchronized to music from the Longhorn Band, the display covers 24 heritage oak trees on The Drag.
Development
  • A 250-unit, $110 million mixed-used housing project could be headed to South Congress Avenue, near the Lively Middle School. Developers would need to demolish a former gas station, an auto shop, and a nursing and rehab center to build on the 2.8-acre site. (Austin Business Journal)
Ranked
  • For the first time in two years, Austin fell from its spot as the No. 1 destination for millennials — to No. 9. The 2023 “Where Millennials Are Moving” report from Smart Asset ranks Cambridge, MA as the new top spot.
Shop
  • Have an active loved one on your shopping list? Upway delivers rigorously inspected, certified, and 99% pre-assembled ebikes from top brands (think: Specialized, Aventon, and Super73) directly to your doorstep. Get up to $1,200 off for Black Friday, and score free express shipping with code TREE.*
 
 
Outdoors
 
🌳 A new life
Two side-by-side photos showing the Red Oak tree in downtown Austin being removed.
The 50-ft-tall Red Oak tree outside of Indeed Tower was removed this month due to fungus. | Photos courtesy Rebecca Rios
A sick, 150-year-old heritage Red Oak tree Downtown will soon have a new life.

The 50-ft-tall tree towered over The Park outside of Indeed Tower for decades, but in a recent assessment, arborists noticed the tree had contracted significant fungus and rot. For public safety, the great giant needed to be removed.

Bartlett Tree Experts carefully removed the tree earlier this month and sent it to Berdoll Sawmill in Cedar Creek. There, the old beauty will be repurposed into art and custom furnishings, to be displayed inside Indeed Tower as a tribute to its former life.

The case rings familiar with a similar tree loss earlier this year when Flo, a ~100-year-old leaning pecan tree, was removed from Barton Springs due to a fungus that posed a risk to visitors.

Indeed Tower owner Kilroy Realty is working to plant a new tree, with hopes it will grow into the same stately fixture as the Red Oak.
 
The Buy
 
A bundle we’ll be snacking on all season, especially since it will be on sale this Saturday.
 
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The Wrap
 
London Gibson Today’s edition by:
London
From the editor
Happy early Thanksgiving, y’all. I’ll be prepping some veggies, sweet potato casserole, and green bean casserole (aka, Texas’ favorite side dish) for this year’s delicious meal.

If you spot me at the Turkey Trot tomorrow morning, come say hi.
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