New Look. New Stores. Introducing the New Hill Country Galleria!

After major renovations, Hill Country Galleria unveils its amazing transformation at a “free to the public” Grand ReOpening Event.

We had to know all the juicy details about the transformation so we’re pleased to have had the opportunity to converse with Ms. Courtney Bunte, Property Marketing Manager at Hill Country Galleria, who was thrilled to share insight into the transformation and Grand ReOpening Event details.    

Read our Exclusive Interview with Courtney and we look forward to socializing with you Saturday, April 8 at Hill Country Galleria.

InFluential Magazine:  How important was it to involve the community when developing the plans for the property transformation?

Courtney Bunte:  In preparation for this multi-million dollar property transformation, it was important for us to meet the wishes of our trade area. We conducted extensive consumer research to find out what our customers wanted to see at the property and are thrilled to bring that to life through our remodel. We started off this process by enhancing the tenant mix of the Galleria by bringing in the highly requested retailer, H&M. As an outdoor lifestyle center, we knew other amenities like more shade and seating, were important to our customers so we made sure these enhancements were a huge part of our property transformation.

InFluential Magazine:  What are the key elements of the property transformation?

Bunte:  Key features of the transformation of our 1.3 million-square-foot property include landscaping upgrades, more shaded areas, new walkways and a new entertainment district, Central Plaza, featuring a grassy lawn, a new splash pad and additional outdoor seating.

InFluential Magazine:  Preview for us, the enhancements which ensure the comfort of shoppers, particularly in consideration of the weather factors in Central Texas?

Bunte:  The landscaping upgrades and shaded walkways make for a much more comfortable shopping experience during the summer months, along with a 40-jet splash pad for families to enjoy.

InFluential Magazine:  We’ve heard quite a bit about the brand new Central Plaza.  Share with us what is most exciting about the Plaza?

Bunte:  The new Central Plaza, located at the heart of the Galleria, allows us to expand on the 80+ free annual events by enhancing the guest experience at these events. We designed the Central Plaza with guest comfort and enjoyment in mind, adding a grassy lawn, additional outdoor seating, an elevated pavilion and a convertible splash pad. Our goal was to restructure the heart of the entertainment district to upgrade and improve the guest viewing experience for local live performances and events like the Saturday Night Concert Series, every Saturday from 7 to 9 p.m.

InFluential Magazine:  The culinary scene in Central Texas has become quite popular on a national scale.  What exciting restaurants will have a home at Hill Country Galleria?

Bunte:  Hill Country Galleria is home to a great mix of exciting restaurants, whether they be national establishments or local favorites. Local restaurant and food tenants include Café Blue, Chisos Grill, Buenos Aires Café, Frost Gelato, All Star Burger, Bee Cave Coffee and more.

InFluential Magazine:  What will prove most inviting for families with children and those looking for a pet friendly environment?

Bunte:  Shaded areas and new walkways create a comfortable and easy shopping experience for family members of all ages and pet friendly shoppers, regardless of weather conditions. Hill Country Galleria is home to a number of family friendly tenants like The Candy Jar, which offers private kids’ birthday parties available for booking, PAIYH Dance Studios, Learning Express Toys and also offers patio seating at some restaurant tenants, like Chisos Grill, perfect for pet friendly dining.

InFluential Magazine:  How do you plan to keep up with the ever changing habits of shoppers in Central Texas?

Bunte:  With over 100 stores and restaurants, the Hill Country Galleria’s property spans nearly a mile long with an eclectic mix of retailers.  In order to make the shopping experience even more user friendly, we are in the process of remerchandising the property by thoughtfully relocating stores to better effect the flow of cross-shopping, dining and entertainment. The outcome will increase retail stores on the west end near Dillard’s, concentrate on dining and entertainment around the Central Plaza, and the east end nearest Whole Foods Market will house service retailers.

InFluential Magazine:  How do we come prepared to best experience the Grand ReOpening Event?

Bunte:  Come with plenty of energy and bring your friends and family for a full day of fun! Festivities will include live music at the Central Plaza, fashion show hosted by KXAN Studio512 host, Amanda Tatom, Taste of the Galleria, fireworks show, shopping discounts and more. Bring a blanket and be sure to grab a spot early on the lawn for live music with Bob Schneider!

Full Grand ReOpening Event Details!

The Hill Country Galleria has transformed!  You’re invited to join for the reveal of the completion of the sixteen million dollar property transformation with a grand re-opening celebration on Saturday, April 8th.  Help cut the ribbon on the brand new Central Plaza featuring beautiful landscaping, more shade and seating and a new splash pad.  Spend the afternoon listening to live music by Bob Schneider followed by a fashion show featuring the Hill Country Galleria retailers with live music by The Mrs.  All day enjoy the Taste of the Galleria with food sampling and treats by Hill Country Galleria restaurants, face painting for the kids and special offers on shopping!  End the evening with the Galleria’s signature event, the Saturday Night Concert Series, followed by a spectacular firework show.  All of this and more will take place from 2pm-9pm in the Central Plaza…come help celebrate! 

Schedule of Events:

2:00 p.m. – Ribbon Cutting by Bee Cave Chamber of Commerce (arrive early & get in the official photo!)

3:00 p.m. – Live music by Bob Schneider

5:00 p.m. – Fashion Show with live music by The Mrs.

7:00 p.m. – Saturday Night Concert Series with music by The Derailers

9:00 p.m. – Fireworks

The Peninsula at Rough Hollow Hosts the 2017 Parade of Homes™ Tour

2017 Parade of Homes in The Peninsula is the Most Anticipated Tour Yet

Legend Communities and Crescent Communities announced recently The Peninsula at Rough Hollow will host the spring Spring 2017 Home Builders Association (HBA) of Greater Austin Parade of Homes™.

“We are more excited than ever about hosting this year’s Parade of Homes,” said Haythem Dawlett, founder and principal of Legend Communities. “We are featuring five prestigious and astonishingly beautiful custom homes on five of the most breathtaking homesites available anywhere in Central Texas.”

The Spring 2017 HBA Parade of Homes™ will take place at The Peninsula at Rough Hollow May 12 through May 29. The annual event showcases the newest trends in construction, building design, interior décor and landscaping in one of the nation’s most vibrant real estate communities. This year will mark the third Parade of Homes tour to be held within Rough Hollow over the past 10 years and by far the most anticipated showing due to The Peninsula’s spectacular views of the Hill Country and Lake Travis.

The tour will feature five custom-built homes by award-winning builders specifically chosen for the event—Arbogast Custom Homes, Jenkins Design + Build, Lake Travis Builders, Laurel Haven Homes and Triton Custom Homes Inc. During the tour, the homes will be open 11:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., Thursdays through Sundays and Memorial Day, May 29.

Nestled high above Lake Travis and just a short ride from downtown Austin, The Peninsula at Rough Hollow offers an unparalleled lake living experience. The Peninsula is located in a naturally secluded, private enclave and offers a limited number of lakeside estate-sized homesites priced from the $300s to $1 million-plus. The Peninsula is the last Southside lakefront gated neighborhood in Lakeway, and the most exclusive in the Rough Hollow development. As part of Rough Hollow, an 1,800-acre master-planned community with world-class amenities, The Peninsula is located just 25 minutes from downtown Austin and 35 minutes from Austin-Bergstrom International Airport.

Legend Communities and Crescent Communities recently announced 2016 was the most successful sales year to date in their exclusive master-planned Lakeway communities, Rough Hollow and The Peninsula at Rough Hollow. The demand for homesites and the unparalleled amenities of these two lakefront communities shows no sign of abating, with 2017 setting up to be another phenomenal year. The homes and homesites in Rough Hollow and The Peninsula at Rough Hollow are approximately 50 percent sold out, with four of the Parade homes and 50 homesites remaining.

“People are going to be captivated by the stunning views from The Peninsula’s estate-sized lots, as well as the artistry and craftsmanship of these builders,” said HBA Chief Executive Officer Emily Lubbers. “Without question, this year’s Parade of Homes™ will surpass anything we’ve featured in the past.”

For more information and sales at The Peninsula at Rough Hollow, contact the Welcome Center at (512) 617-1776 or The PR Boutique at (512) 363-5160.

Zilker Park’s 100th Anniversary Celebration Kicks Off With Free Day on April 9

–Proclamation Reading to Take Place During Zilker’s Caretaker Cottage Grand Opening at 9AM – 

In celebration of Zilker Park’s 100th anniversary, Austin Parks Foundation, along with a collaborative group of organizations that operate within the park, is excited to announce the first ever Free Day taking place on Sunday, April 9.

During this special Free Day celebration, Austinites and visitors will enjoy the park activities we know and love such as the Zilker Zephyr and Barton Springs Pool at no cost as well as several one-time-only activities, including special programming at Austin Nature and Science Center. To learn more about the free amenities and special events happening on Free Day,

Additionally, an interactive sculpture in honor of the centennial anniversary will debut. The sculpture, consisting of two zeros, will allow patrons of Zilker Park to pose as the number one, making for a fun photo opportunity. The sculpture will live by Rock Island at Zilker Park and will rotate around the park for special events.

Several restaurants on Barton Springs Road will take part in the special celebration by donating a percentage of the day’s sales to the Zilker 100 campaign, helping to fund future improvements in the park. Participating restaurants include JuiceLand, Sno-Beach, SquareRut Kava bar, and Juliet. Trudy’s trailer will also be participating by giving out free waters per purchase for guests to take along as they enjoy Free Day activities.

The Zilker 100 celebration will begin with a proclamation reading by Austin City Council during the Caretaker’s Cottage grand opening at 9 a.m. on Sunday, April 9, and Free Day activities will start as early as 5 a.m., when Barton Springs Pool opens, and vary throughout the day. The community is invited to celebrate this special anniversary and explore all Zilker Park has to offer by enjoying Free Day and posing with the Zilker 100 sculpture. Street teams will surprise park patrons throughout the day with Zilker 100 swag such as shirts, hats, and more.

Sunday, April 9

Zilker 100 proclamation reading by Austin City Council to take place at 9 a.m.

Hours vary for each activity

Throughout Zilker Park

Zilker 100 proclamation reading to take place at Caretaker’s Cottage

To see the full list of free amenities and special events happening on Free Day, visit


Partners in the Zilker 100 Anniversary celebration include: Austin Parks Foundation, Austin Sunshine Camp, Barton Springs Conservancy, City of Austin Parks and Recreation Department, Hill Country Conservancy, Save Our Springs Alliance, The Trail Foundation, Trail of Lights, Umlauf Sculpture Garden and Museum, Zilker Botanical Garden Conservancy, ABC Kite Fest, and Zilker Theater Productions.

No Joke About It: “The Pearly White Ball” Aims to Help Over 25,000 Central Texans by Benefitting Manos de Cristo’s Critical Programs

The Pearly White Ball will be held on April Fool’s Day and promises to be an elegant evening filled with laughter and surprises. Proceeds will benefit Manos de Cristo’s important programs that serve your neighbors in need. Guests of the event will enjoy dinner, exciting live & silent auctions, a casino, live music by The Pictures & dancing!

The event is made possible by our generous sponsors: St. David’s Foundation, Drs. Brian & Heather Bobb, and Duggan Endodontics. White semiformal attire requested.

When:          Saturday, April 1, 2017, 6:00 p.m.

Where:         ACL Live at the Moody Theater,310 Willie Nelson Blvd., Austin, TX 78701

Cost:            $250 individual ticket, Sponsorship Opportunities Available. For tickets, please visit

The evening benefits our low cost Dental Center, adult education and emergency food and clothing programs, which serve over 25,000 children, adults and seniors in our community. Co-Chairs Mr. Paul Miller and Dr. Neal Shah serve on the board of Manos de Cristo and have witnessed the impact Manos programs have in the Austin area. Dr. Shah says, “Manos has a unique place in our community because we deliver thousands of the hardest working Central Texans dignity and a healthy smile.  It is an honor and privilege to serve this group and raise awareness and money to continue to support this worthy cause.  The Ball also happens to be one of the most fun events of the year, and we get the rare opportunity to host it at Austin’s premiere facility, the legendary Austin City Limits Moody Theater.”

About Manos de Cristo: Manos de Cristo, founded 29 years ago in 1988, meets essential needs by providing adults and children withlow cost dental care, educational opportunities, an annual program to prepare young children for school with new clothing and school supplies, and emergency food and clothing assistance. The Manos de Cristo Dental Center is one of the few not-for-profit dental facilities in Austin. Our life changing services empower people of all backgrounds to build self-esteem, self-confidence and the ability to participate fully in the life of our community. All are welcome.

Sackman Enterprises Hosts 70 Rainey Sales Gallery Opening Party

Luxury Condominium Developer Introduced Guests to Renowned Interior Designer Mark Zeff

Photography courtesy of Ben Porter Photography.

Guests gathered on February 22 to celebrate the grand opening of Sackman Enterprises 70 Rainey Sales Gallery located at 78 Rainey Street. CJ Sackman, Managing Director of Sackman Enterprises, welcomed attendees, provided a project update and introduced Mark Zeff, the renowned visionary behind the stunning interiors for 70 Rainey. Zeff, the internationally acclaimed interior designer for the development, educated party goers on his vision for the project – a mix of relaxed sophistication with the use of industrial elements creating an elegant take on a raw, edgy style.  The mastermind behind the design of Hotel Van Zandt reinforced his love of the Rainey Street District and excitement to work on another project of such esteemed caliber in the neighborhood.

Guests enjoyed a model kitchen and bathroom that showcase the exquisite finish samples available to residents. Large interactive televisions displayed 70 Rainey floor plans, project renderings and drone images of the sweeping views every residence will offer. Attendees mixed and mingled with the 70 Rainey sales team and Sackman executives while sipping on 70 Rainey Ritas and customized cocktails provided by Sourced Cocktails.  Kevin Fink and his team from Emmer & Rye wowed guests with passed hor d’eorves and a fire activation station featuring beef short rib carnitas. Guests walked away with 70 Rainey swag and images from the photo booth provided by Ben Porter Photography.

Renee Hanson Malone, Brittany Golden and Joanna Vega

Renee Hanson Malone, Brittany Golden and Joanna Vega.

The 70 Rainey sales gallery is open to the public Monday through Friday from 10am to 6pm and on Saturday and Sunday from 10am to 3pm. The 34- story project is set to open the fourth quarter of 2018 and will include 164 meticulously designed residences, a ground floor restaurant and second floor patio bar—all overlooking the breathtaking, unobstructed views of downtown Austin, Lady Bird Lake and the Texas Hill Country. Like other Sackman projects, 70 Rainey will feature world-class design, dramatic architecture, uncompromising luxury and meticulous attention to detail.

Pierre Cloutier, Mathew Layman and Donny Carlyon.

Pierre Cloutier, Mathew Layman and Donny Carlyon.

InFluentials in attendance were CJ Sackman, Mark Zeff, Will Steakley, Stuart Thomajan, Lisa Matulis-Thomajan, Amanda Polcari, Jennifer Ladner, Leah Pigg, Melissa Neslund, Ryan Baker, Bill McCannKevin Fink, Mike Piano, and many more. Images provided by Ben Porter Photography.

Founded by Alan Sackman 48 years ago, Sackman Enterprises initially focused on restoring historic brownstones in Manhattan’s Upper West Side. Since then, the company has expanded its reach throughout Manhattan and beyond, to Brooklyn, The Bronx, Queens, New Jersey, North Carolina, South Carolina, Colorado, Texas, and the Turks and Caicos Islands. Sackman prides itself on being a family-run business. Although it has experienced vast growth over the past five decades, the company still focuses on maintaining and restoring the cultural and historical integrity of its properties and surrounding communities. By placing an emphasis on supporting local businesses, people, history, and culture over five decades and three generations, Sackman Enterprises is known as much for its integrity as for its business acumen and success.

Jason Papp and Miles Marks.

Jason Papp and Miles Marks.

Based in New York City, MARKZEFF is an international, full-service design-consulting firm. Over the last 30 years, MARKZEFF has evolved from a residential design firm into one of the nation’s leading multi-disciplinary boutique design agencies. The strength and range of the firm’s residential projects laid the groundwork for its expansion into commercial design, master planning projects and branding. Every interior is highly customized, from furniture design to architectural details, to create a distinct environment that reflects the client’s vision. The designs seamlessly integrate brand development and interior design to deliver innovative hotels, specialty retail, restaurants and luxury residential real estate.

Hundreds Kick Off Their Boots for Alzheimer’s Texas 25th Annual Walk at Camp Mabry

Walkers Gather to Raise Awareness and Funds for Alzheimer’s Disease

On Saturday, October 8th at 10:00 a.m. Alzheimer’s Texas hosted their 25th annual “These Boots Are Made for Walking” fundraising walk at Camp Mabry. More than 650 attendees participated in either the 2.5mile or one mile walk raising over $95K. The organization is continuing to take donations through December with anticipation of reaching their fundraising goal of $175K with all funds remaining 100% local providing research, support and care to Central Texas. Dr. Dewayne Nash spoke to the crowd offering his personal connection to Alzheimer’s and impressed the importance of continuing to fight and raise funds to slow the progression of this devastating disease. The cover band Off the Record emceed and performed throughout the walk keeping spirits lively and energized. After the walk, Alzheimer’s Texas President, Christian Wells, presented the friends and family team division awards with most money raised to Austin Senior Resource Alliance and largest team to Studio SIX5.  Corporate team division awards for most money raised went to Westminster and largest team to Querencia at Barton Creek.

Boot Walkers

Boot Walkers

2016 marks the first year of the organization’s new name, Alzheimer’s Texas.  Formerly known as the Alzheimer’s Associations of Capital of Texas Chapter, Alzheimer’s Texas separated from the national Alzheimer’s Association earlier this year to better serve and provide Central Texas with the quality, high-touch services consistent with its mission and keep 100% of its funds raised in Central Texas.

Dewayne & JoAnn Nash

Dewayne & JoAnn Nash

For more information click here or visit Alzheimer’s Texas  website at

God and Silver Star Walkers

God and Silver Star Walkers

In the Crowd: Alzheimer’s Texas President Christian Wells, Dr. Dewayne Nash, Westminster Executive Director Charles Borst, Querencia at Barton Creek Executive Director Nate Weyand, Austin Regional Clinic Referral Relations & Community Relations Specialist Lynda Shanblum, Rose Vera, Autumn Leaves of Northwest Austin Executive Director Kim Howard, Founder of Austin Senior Resource Alliance Cyndi Cumming and many more.

Querencia BC Members

Querencia at Barton Creek Members

Alzheimer’s Texas is dedicated to eliminating Alzheimer’s disease through the advancement of research and to enhance care and support for individuals with Alzheimer’s disease and related disorders, their families, and caregivers. The organization provides care consultations, 24-hour help line, support groups, respite care, educational and social engagement programs, and professional training. Alzheimer’s Texas was founded in 1982 and serves Central Texas. For more information,

Russell Collection Ushers in the Most Colorful Exhibition this Fall

A Visual Arts Movement From the 60’s Makes a Comeback in POP Art Exhibit Oct 1-31.

Pop art is just that. It is the art of popular culture. Characterized by a sense of optimism during the post war consumer boom of the 50’s and 60’s, it coincided with the globalization of pop music and youth culture, personified by Elvis and the Beatles and embraced by a few of the artists represented at the Russell Collection Fine Art Gallery. This ambitious exhibit will be on display October 1-31 and will feature originals and prints from Nelson de la Nuez, Alberto Murillo and Daniel Maltzman. In addition, works of art from Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, Robert Rauschenberg, Damien Hirst and Jim Dine will be on display and available for purchase.

An opening reception is scheduled for Saturday, October 8, 2016 from 6-8 pm.

About the Artists:

Nelson de la Nuez

Nelson de la Nuez

Nelson de la Nuez is one of the world’s most collected, significant pop artists today. Using his unique juxtaposition of pop culture and surrealism, blended with America’s rich culture and history, de la Nuez has created works of art that are considered timeless.

Alberto Murillo is a self -taught artist from Madrid, Spain whose background in interior design and love of color spurred his art career, which began in 2007. His work has been exhibited in over 30 shows across the US and Europe and is featured in over 40 private collections and in several public art installations. Murillo currently resides in Tampa, Florida.

Daniel Maltzman is fast becoming the new name on the short lists of savvy art collectors. Maltzman’s art, which features his signature “Faces,” and “Shadows,” can be seen across the country, from locations as trendy as the One Sunset in Hollywood, CA, to the classic appeal of Yankee Stadium. Continually catching the eye of top Hollywood producers, his work is often featured in film and television.

The Russell Collection Fine Art Gallery is located at 1137 West 6th Street in Austin, Texas.  Gallery hours are Tuesday- Saturday from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.  More information can be found on the gallery at or at A second location in Lakeway is scheduled to open this fall.

Austin Royalty Steps Out for DKR Fund “4th and Goal Gala”

DKR Fund Raises Over $1.2M at 4th and Goal Gala

Photography courtesy of David Brennen Hall except where noted.

Darrell K Royal Research Fund for Alzheimer’s Disease (DKR Fund), dedicated to raising awareness and funding research initiatives throughout Texas for Alzheimer’s disease and other degenerative brain diseases.

Oscar-winning actor Matthew McConaughey and Edit Royal

Oscar-winning actor Matthew McConaughey and Edith Royal

It was a star-studded, Texas style event as the DKR Fund kicked-off off the first Texas Longhorns football game with the “4th and Goal Gala” on Sept. 2 at the AT&T Executive Education and Conference Center paying tribute to the organization’s founder, Edith Royal.  At the event, DKR Fund Founding Vice Chair, Ben Crenshaw and board members Matthew McConaughey and Mike Myers presented Edith Royal with a $500K Edith Royal Endowment for Research, Family Support and Education fund. In further support of Edith Royal, an anonymous donor matched the endowment with an additional $500K and the generous donations did not stop there.  The live auction raised more than $220K with a special donation from Ben and Julie Crenshaw going for $100,000. The silent auction featuring some of the sports and music industry’s most prominent memorabilia brought in more than $50,000.

David Garza, Matthew McConaughey, John Hogg

David Garza, Matthew McConaughey, John Hogg

DKR Fund Founding Chair Ava Late and Board Member Rita Hortenstine announced the 2016 DKR Fund Research Sponsorship grant recipients, Dr. Andreana Haley of University of Texas at Austin and Dr. Lenora Volk of University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center. These remarkable scientists were awarded an $165,000 three-year grant to further their research and help slow the progression of Alzheimer’s disease and other degenerative brain diseases.

The Auctioneers, Health Hale and his Team of Associates.

The Auctioneers, Heath Hale and his Team of Associates.

Renowned radio personality Ed Clements emceed the event and announced the Alzheimer’s Texas 2017 “Hidden Hero Award” recipient is Becky Beaver for her continued care, support and direction to a loved one in need.

Radio personality Ed Clements

Radio personality Ed Clements

Guests were serenaded by four of the music industry’s most prominent singer/songwriters: Grammy winners Paul Overstreet and Brett James and Nashville greats Scotty Emerick and Wendell Mobley. These respected artists kept the night going well after 11pm with some of country music’s greatest songs ever written performed before the 320 plus person crowd.

William Jackson, Publisher of InFluential Magazine (Photography courtesy of Sandra Rascon)

William Jackson, Publisher of InFluential Magazine (Photography courtesy of Sandra Rascon)

Sandra Rascon, Co-Founder of InFluential Magazine (Photography courtesy of William Jackson)

Sandra Rascon, Co-Founder of InFluential Magazine (Photography courtesy of William Jackson)

InFluentials in the crowd were Edith Royal, Ava and Steve Late, Matthew McConaughey, Debbie and Mark Hanna, Laura and Steve Beuerlein, Mike and Sammye Myers, Gina and Don Reese, Ben and Julie Crenshaw, Doug and Janis Maund, DK and Mike Reynolds, Rita and Henry Hortenstine, Becky Beaver and John Duncan, Ed and Pam Small, Bobby and Sherri Patton, Jamie and Blake Chandlee, Stacy and Chad Auler, Jenna and Jason Leiker, Robert and Ann Canon, David Garza and John Hogg, 2016 grant recipients Dr. Andreana Haley and Dr. Lenora Volk, and William Jackson and Sandra Rascon.

Home Slice Pizza Celebrates 11th Anniversary with Annual Carnival O’ Pizza on September 24

Free, Family-Friendly Event on Saturday, September 24 to Benefit Austin Bat Cave

Home Slice Pizza, the independent neighborhood joint serving authentic New York-style slices and pies, will host its 11th annual Carnival O’ Pizza on Saturday, September 24 from noon to 7 p.m. at the iconic South Congress location with all proceeds benefiting Austin Bat Cave.  A celebration of Home Slice’s love for all things pizza, this free admission, family-friendly event will be bigger than ever with over-the-top pizza-themed activities and exciting prizes including the chance for one lucky raffle winner to be the only person in the world who can make a reservation at Home Slice for the next year, (applies to both the South Congress location and the North Loop location, opening in 2017).

Watch the thrilling contests of skill including Pizza Stretching, Pizza Tossing, and Pizza Eating, enjoy fabulous music and dancing including hip-hop for kids, break dancers who actually are kids, puppet shows, magicians and so much more. Join in on the old-school fun with a slew of original booths and midway carnival games that offer something for everyone, or try your luck in the humongous raffle and have the chance to win one of the 60 prizes, including a YETI Die Hard Pack, two Sound On Sound Festival passes, hotel stays and more. This year’s mascot, the Tattooed Wonder, has inspired a booth called Tattoo Baby where you can win a prize by covering yourself and your baby with temporary tattoos – pizza designs of course! And anyone showing up with a real pizza tattoo or Home Slice tattoo will win a gift card for a large pie.

Carnival O’ Pizza contests include:

  • Hands on an Eggplant Sub (a.k.a. H.O.E.S) – In a messier, gooier version of a walk-a-thon, H.O.E.S contestants place a hand on a Home Slice eggplant sub and hold it there as long as they can, and the last one standing wins. Contestants can raise money online for Austin Bat Cave by seeking sponsorship from their network of friends and family. Players who raise more money are awarded perks, like extra bathroom breaks, which can increase their chance at winning.  The winner receives free pizza for an entire year.
  • Pizza Eating – This contest is simple: get 10 people together and see who can eat the most pizza in 30 minutes. Past bouts have ended in a controversial photo finish and judges weighing contestants’ pizza remnants to determine a winner.
  • Dough Throwing – In this challenge to all genuine hand-tossing pizza joints across Texas and beyond, contestants compete for the fastest stretch and largest dough. Authentic pizzaiolis with a true passion for the art of hand-tossed dough are brought in to judge and keep competition fair.  This year’s Celebrity Judge will be international pizza champion dough thrower Michael Shepherd.
  • Pizza Box Folding – Contestants try to beat the clock by folding as many pizza boxes as possible.

Music and entertainment will feature:

  • Fragile Rock (puppet rock band)
  • Big Don (hip hop for kids)
  • Blitz Freestyle breakdancers
  • Minor Mishap Marching Band
  • Magician Albert Lucio.

For the fifth consecutive year, all proceeds from the event will benefit Austin Bat Cave, an organization that provides free workshops for children to develop and explore their creative writing. In the last nine years, the Carnival O’ Pizza has raised more than $130,000 for local participating charities, including over $80,000 for Austin Bat Cave.

Home Slice is located at 1415 & 1421 South Congress Avenue in Austin, Texas. Home Slice and More Home Slice will maintain regular hours of operation during the event,11 a.m. – midnight, and 11- 3 a.m. respectively.

Waller Creek Designer Speaking at Imagine Austin Series

Gullivar Shepard, Principal of Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates Inc., to Give Free Talk on Landscape Architecture’s Impact at Waller Creek and Beyond on September 21

Gullivar Shepard

Gullivar Shepard

The Waller Creek Conservancy and City of Austin’s Planning and Zoning Department will host the Imagine Austin Speaker Series on Wednesday, September 21 at 6:30 p.m. Gullivar Shepard, Principal of Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates, Inc. (MVVA) and project leader for MVVA on the revitalization of Waller Creek, will give a free talk on how landscape architecture can serve as a medium for strategic thinking at Waller Creek and beyond. This event is open to the public and free to attend.

“The role of landscape architecture has evolved over time, moving beyond the design of beautiful natural spaces and entering the policy realm,” said Peter Mullan, CEO of Waller Creek Conservancy. “Complex civic projects, like the one we are undertaking at Waller Creek, require strategic thinking for successful implementation. With a wealth of experience working in cities across the U.S., Gullivar Shepard is the perfect speaker to expand our thinking on this topic. We encourage the public to join us to learn how thoughtful design and architecture create better community spaces.”

The Imagine Austin Speaker Series is designed to grow the implementation of the Imagine Austin Comprehensive Plan through shared dialogue and mutual learning. The series enriches Austin with insights around creating complete communities where residents’ needs are met. Past speakers have led compelling conversations about park preservation, healthy living, water conservation, and more.

“The City is an integral partner in the Waller Creek project and we are excited to highlight this transformation as it exemplifies many of the priorities in the Imagine Austin Comprehensive Plan, including increased connectivity and expanded green infrastructure,” said Greg Guernsey, City of Austin Planning and Zoning Department Director. “We’re thrilled to have Gullivar Shepard speak at the Imagine Austin Speaker Series, shedding light on a topic that impacts our City.”

Event Details

September 21, 2016

Doors open at 6:30 p.m., program begins at 7 p.m.

Palmer Events Center, 900 Barton Springs Rd, Austin, TX 78704

Free parking is available at One Texas Center, 505 Barton Springs Rd., and onsite parking at Palmer Events Center for this event is $3.00.

Program: The landscapes of our world represent a vast and entangled field of terrains, policies, practices, real estate transactions, and emergent conditions. Yet, the medium of landscape is still primarily thought of as a series of aesthetic place-making decisions. Through this lens, Gullivar Shepard will discuss MVVA’s involvement in complicated landscape contexts and will expose some of the complex strategic thinking that has enabled the realization of transformative projects for several growing cities. Waller Creek’s connected parks will be presented as a reflection upon how landscape planning moves beyond aesthetic place-making to help shape the context of Austin’s current growth.