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Style Pick: Waller Creek Pop-Up Picnic

Waller Creek Tribeza

Style Pick: Waller Creek Pop-Up Picnic

Waller Creek Tribeza

Waller Creek Pop-Up Picnic

April 8, 2017

by Tribeza Staff
Photographs by Leah Muse

Just as they have for the last five years, over a thousand people from every part of the city will travel by car, bus, bike or on foot to Palm Park to gather for Waller Creek Pop-Up Picnic, the ultimate community gathering that has become one of the best annual events of the year. The come one, come all vibe of the picnic invites everyone to experience the Waller Creek Project as blankets are spread throughout the park for music, delicious food and drinks. Picnic baskets are thoughtfully prepared by top chefs from favorite Austin restaurants like Franklin BBQ, Jeffrey’s, Lucy’s Fried Chicken, Home Slice, Elizabeth Street Café, Sway, Uchi and many more.

John Spong with the Waller Creek Conservancy says: “We throw the picnic each spring to raise funds and awareness, but there’s no confusing it with a black-tie gala. It just feels like Austin being Austin, the kind of coming together that, when the project is completed, will be possible on Waller Creek every night of year.” The dynamic co-chair team of Lauren Smith Ford (Texas Monthly), Elaine Garza (Principal, Giant Noise), Caroline Haley (Bunker Lee), Lauren Moorman (Central Austin Management Group) and Courtney Trucksess (C3) are back to help produce the event along with honorary co-chairs who helped start the picnic, Julie Blakeslee and John Spong. Moorman says: “The picnic is casual and festive, and it celebrates the bright future of Waller Creek. Over twenty of Austin’s best restaurants feed a thousand friends and neighbors for the unique experience of picnicking under the stars. And, there’s no wait for Franklin Barbecue!”

The Waller Creek Pop-Up Picnic is free and open to everyone. Picnic baskets go on sale March 20 at All proceeds from the event benefit the Waller Creek Conservancy and a new Waller Creek Park for Austin.


About the Artist

Waller Creek Tribeza

Each year, the Waller Creek Pop-Up Picnic features the work of a different artist who creates a distinct and stylish look and feel for the picnic (think your new favorite canvas bag). Avalon McKenzie Haltom, a global senior designer at Whole Foods Market who previously worked for Free People at the Urban Outfitters corporate offices, created this year’s whimsical and French-inspired look. “When I thought about picnics and dining al fresco, my mind went to Paris. I love the effortless feel of so much French artwork and that served as inspiration for an illustrated approach,” she says. View more of McKenzie’s design, illustration and hand lettering at

Read more from the Music + Film Issue | March 2017