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Best Bets: Sunny side of art

The vibe is hot this weekend as the sun shines and gives everyone some much needed vitamin D. With a wine and beer tasting, opera, some fun at the VFW and the stars, there’s plenty to get you out of the house this weekend.

1. Art & Atmosphere

6-9 p.m. Thursday, Austin VFW Post 1216 -438-1088

Art & Atmosphere will raise funds as participants learn to paint, listen to great disc jockey music and enjoy food and drinks for purchase available from the VFW. The cost will be $30 per person to paint on canvas. At least 30 people are required for this event to happen.

2. Zonta Club of Austin wine and beer tasting

5-8 p.m. Friday, Eagles Club of Austin

The tastebuds are in for a treat this Friday as people get to try many wines and beers. The Zonta Club of Austin will host its annual wine and beer tasting.

The fundraiser will also feature drawings and appetizers, and the beverages will be supplied by Apollo Liquor & Superette. Tickets are $15 and are available in advance or at the door. Money that is raised will go back to the community through the club’s budget for next year. Though Zonta is a club for women, men are welcome to the event. Sponsors include Zonta Club of Austin, Apollo Liquors, Eagles Club of Austin.

3. Austin Symphony Orchestra presents Ópera Festiva!

2-4 p.m. Sunday, Historic Paramount Theatre

Opera will be accessible in Austin Sunday as two special guests join the Austin Symphony Orchestra for an operatic performance. The Austin Symphony Orchestra will perform Ópera Festiva! from 2 to 4 p.m. on April 17 at the Historic Paramount Theatre. This year’s program will feature two special guests — Elizabeth Hunter Ashley, a soprano, and Rick Penning, a tenor. The concert should be enjoyable for all ages and will last about two hours. The pieces will be well-known from popular operas that many people could recognize. With about 60 people in the orchestra, the performers are from all over the area and neighboring counties.

4. Sola Fide Observatory Viewing

9-10 p.m. Saturday, Sola Fide Observatory

Learn about the night sky from local experts. From Interstate 90, take Hwy 218 south 2 miles to County Road 28, turn right (west) 1 mile to a stop sign. Turn south on CR 29 for 1.5 miles to 180th St. Turn right for a quarter of a mile and the driveway is on the right. For more information, call Keith at 507-440-1244 or email imstar@smig.net.

5. Richard Eberhart Poetry Contest

6 p.m. Monday, Hormel Historic Home

“A Night with our Poets” is an event featuring the readings of the Eberhart Poetry Contest finalists from Austin Public Schools. The finalists from each building were invited to read their poem during the event. Finalists are asked to invite an adult or teacher who has inspired them to be a poet and share a few comments about that person. The event is open to the public. The Richard Eberhart Poetry Contest is sponsored by the Austin Public Education Foundation and coordinated by the Gifted and Talented Education program in Austin.