AUSTIN (KXAN) — Bat Fest was back at Austin’s famous bat bridge (Congress Avenue) Saturday night. Hundreds of people gathered for live music, food, bat education and to watch the mass exodus of bats from the bridge.

The bats were a bit shy, waiting until after dark to make their move this year. People started a chant underneath the bridge in an attempt to coax the bats out.

The fest comes with a costume contest, which brings out some of the most creative folks in Austin. You can check out some of the creations we saw below:

  • Bat Fest 2022
  • Bat Fest 2022
  • Bat Fest 2022

Located in the heart of Austin, the Congress Avenue Bridge hosts the world’s largest urban bat colony. There are 1.5 million Mexican free-tailed bats that call the bridge home.

Last year, Bat Fest was canceled just days before it was set to happen after the City of Austin denied event organizers a special event permit. Roadway Productions, the company that organizes the event, said at the time the issue isn’t that the city denied the permit, it’s that it was denied so close to the event.