For the intro to the 'ideas' posts, go here. For the rest of the Austin series links for one, two and three.
3. Movies at the Bandshell
I'm honestly not sure how much the bandshell in Austin used, but I'm positive it could get more use. One simple use would be to show some older movies there. In the summer, on Friday or Saturday nights, they could project them on a screen under the shell and encourage people to bring chairs and blankets to put on the grass. They could even do a double feature and pitch the later film more towards teens and twenties to give them something to do.
2. Carols at the Bandshell
Does anyone else miss Christmas caroling? What if Austin set up a mass gathering to carol at the bandshell each winter? They could plan something for the week before Christmas each year. A projection screen could be used to help people with the words. Perhaps, the school choirs in Austin could work on songs of their own and they could be mixed in. Choirs could either gather up front or (better yet) simply sing from the crowd. As a community event, the songs should be secular.
It would be cold, to be sure, but it's warmer within a crowd. If hundreds of people are standing together, it wouldn't be that bad. The proximity might even promote some community.
This idea started as band/orchestra event. I love the idea of a winter symphony. It would be a very special thing for a small town. However, instruments generally don't like cold weather and I don't know of any good way around that. Upon reflection, I think that carols would be as good if not better.