Waterloo Park, the long-awaited first installment of Waterloo Greenway urban parks system, will open to the public with an all-day, family-friendly event on Saturday, Aug. 14 .
Then on Aug. 20 Grammy winner and Austinite Gary Clark Jr. will give the inaugural performance at the park's 5,000-person-capacity Moody Amphitheater. Tickets will go on sale Friday, June 25. One hundred free tickets will be made available through a lottery system.
Native Austinite Gary Clark Jr. will give the first concert at Waterloo Park's Moody Amphitheater on Aug. 21. (Gary Clark Jr./Facebook)
"This park will connect our community not only to the rich history of the land, but to one another, while creating a safe, inclusive space that supports a more equitable Austin," Mayor Pro Tem Natasha Harper-Madison said in a statement.
The 11-acre park—which is bordered by East 15th, Red River, East 12th and Trinity streets—includes a spacious lawn, 1.5-mile hike-and-bike-trail and playgrounds in addition to the event venue.
The project broke ground in 2017 and is part of the 10-year, 35-acre Waterloo Greenway park system, which will run 1.5 miles along Waller Creek from 15th Street to Lady Bird Lake once completed.
Modeled on the High Line in New York City, Waterloo Greenway is the result of a public-private partnership between the city of Austin and the Waterloo Greenway Conservancy, a local nonprofit. Its estimated cost is $250 million, of which the city committed approximately $150 million.
The second phase will be an overhaul of the Creek Delta portion, which includes nine acres between Lady Bird Lake and Fourth Street. It is expected to be completed in 2023.
The last phase includes the middle section, between Fourth and 11th streets, as well as Palm Park, which abuts the Fairmont Austin hotel, and Pontoon Bridge, which spans Lady Bird Lake. It will be completed in 2026.
Waterloo Greenway is named after the city's original moniker, Waterloo. It is also the name of a city in Belgium, combining "water" with the Flemish word "loo," which means "sacred wood."
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With major entertainment events slated for October, the Austin-Bergstrom International Airport is gearing up for a busy month.
Artists and music lovers are set to pack into Zilker Park for The Austin City Limits Music Festival in the coming two weekends. Following that, Formula One will bring racing fans to the Circuit of the Americas.
For those two events, the airport is anticipating high passenger days with 30,000 or more people departing flights.
ABIA recommends arriving at least two and a half hours in advance for domestic flights on those days. For ACL, it's expected on both Sundays of the festival along with the Monday and Tuesday after. The F1-driven high passenger days are expected on Oct. 20-21 and Oct. 23-26.
\u201c#AustinCityLimits visitors, you\u2019re in for a weird and wild ride \ud83e\udd18\u262e\ufe0f \n\nFlying in or out of our airport? We got firm and fun tips for you: https://t.co/RawVRalOXN\u201d— Austin-Bergstrom International Airport (AUS) (@Austin-Bergstrom International Airport (AUS)) 1664894083
F1, especially, could draw in loads of travelers as the three-day event saw 400,000 attendees last year. ABIA warns that highways leading to the airport may see even higher traffic than usual around the event and that travelers should plan their route accordingly.
Bailey Grimmett, a spokesperson for ABIA, said travel numbers come in 24 hours in advance. So, it's hard to predict if the airport will see travel volumes at the same levels that have happened around previous F1 races or if it'll top ACL's flight traffic.
Still, she says historical knowledge points to a chance for it.
“We've had that Monday after F1 break the record for single busiest in airport history," Grimmett said. "So context clues I would say yes, but I can't confirm that. But the historical background points to that."
In anticipation of the high volume of flyers, the airport received additional TSA officers for security screening through the end of October. To prepare even further, the Department of Aviation and partners hosted a job showcase and hiring fair to address the continued labor shortage the airport has experienced.
Relief from hectic travel days is on the horizon with November likely to see a slowdown.
"I don't anticipate it will be as busy as October just because we don't have as many events going on," Grimmett said. "Thanksgiving is kind of our primary holiday that we see a lot of passengers coming in and out of the airport."