Austin is set to host the Formula One Grand Prix, the first time in five years the prix will be held in the United States, but rather than an enthusiastic welcome, the event is being scrutinized by a host of skeptics. The event is expected to bring commerce and excitement to the city, a welcome boon, but also to clash with the culture of the city.
As the Texas capital prepares to host the first Grand Prix in the United States in five years, some in laid-back Austin say this weekend's glamorous race clashes with the city's soul.
In this environmentally-conscious college town of 800,000, where the bumper stickers say "Keep Austin Weird" and there are no professional sports teams, there is widespread opposition to the Formula One race.
Some skeptics have come around, embracing the race and the sleek parties that come with it, while others are still shaking their heads over fears of clogged streets, noisy helicopter traffic and a negative impact on the environment, all for a ritzy event they say is simply un-Austin.
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