Party for the Parks Recap

Taylor WisemanAPF News, Blog Page, Parks, People + Parks, Support Our Parks

Nine years. It’s hard to believe that’s how long we’ve been Partying for the Parks! We just wrapped up our ninth annual event, and WOW! Austin, you showed up in support of our parks. 

If you don’t know, Party for the Parks is APF’s largest annual fundraiser. Each year, this event takes place on ACL Music Festival grounds in between Weekend One and Two. It’s a night to remember, full of fun, fellowship and GIVING. As much as we enjoy throwing this party, the true goal of the night is to raise crucial funds for Austin’s parks. This year we raised nearly $500,000 thanks to the generosity of our attendees! 

The Party:

This year’s Party for the Parks took place at the Tito’s Handmade Vodka stage. The Tito’s tent made for an intimate setting with 800 of our closest friends, including a performance by Portugal. The Man and a delicious dinner provided by Austin’s Taco Mafia!

Attendees had Zilker Park all to themselves as they tested their luck at the Stantec Tipsy Toss, Gift Card Gamble and YETI Raffle. Once the program began, we were joined by the Cowboy Auctioneer team, who brought the energy as we auctioned off seven packages ranging from food to festivals and beyond! 

Of course, the night is about giving back and celebrating the amazing work of volunteers and community leaders toward improving and building community in Austin’s parks. Prior to rockin’ out with Portugal. The Man, we had an opportunity to recognize our Golden Shovel Winners:

  • Lifetime Achievement Award – Dr. Andrew Sansom
  • Volunteer of the Year – Lisa Sledge
  • Adopt-A-Park Group of the Year – Barrington School Park led by Vanessa Gamez and Ana Islas

Party for the Parks is also a night to recognize our mission: Austin Parks Foundation partners with our community to enhance people’s lives by making our public parks, trails and green spaces better through volunteerism, innovative programming, advocacy and financial support.

The Performance:

It wouldn’t be a proper party without a performance! This year we were joined by ACL Music Fest artists, Portugal. The Man to perform some of their hits!

Originally from Alaska and now residing in Portland, Oregon, Portugal. The Man is a band with a passion for environmentalism and social justice. You may know them from their hit song Feel It Still! (but we’re partial to Summer of Luv). Either way, we were excited to be joined by such amazing musicians and stewards of doing good. They created the PTM Foundation in 2019 to build community resilience, empathy, and awareness through music, stories, art, education and connectivity, and recently received a Legend Award at the Native American Music Awards. 

During Party for the Parks, PTM asked Raven Price-Smith (Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara) and Brianelly Flores (P’urhépecha) from the Native American and Indigenous Collective at the University of Texas at Austin to give the Land Acknowledgement prior to their performance.

As we built a relationship with PTM we learned about John and Zoe’s daughter, Frances. Frances has a rare genetic mutation called DHDDS. To learn more about DHDDS and to support Frances go here or check out @franceschangedmylife on Instagram!

The Round-Up:

As the night came to a close, our YETI Raffle winners were announced and giving totals were tallied. In the end, we raised nearly $500,000 for Austin’s parks! We had 800 attendees–none of this is possible without YOU!

We also want to send a THANK YOU to our sponsors who help bring this event to life each year. We cannot wait to see what year 10 has in store!