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"musicians on stage playing music to a large audience in a park"

Special Events are one of many diverse programs and experiences that the Parks and Recreation Department uses to offer support to communities in expressing identity and creativity.  

The values of the Austin Parks and Recreation Department are embodied in Special Events as Event Organizers create park programming that strives for accessibility, diversity, equity, and inclusion of cultures.  Connection between event attendees and park spaces is intentionally created to offer a meaningful and sustainable experience.

There are many unique annual Special Events hosted in City of Austin parks - of the events, almost three quarter offer access to the general public without the need to purchase a ticket. 

In order to preserve and enhance parkland for future generations, strategies and requirements for impact mitigation of Special Events have been developed by the City of Austin through Task Force recommendations and adoption of industry best practices.

Many Special Events attract out of town visitors and contribute to hotel occupancy.  Since 2017, nearly $17 million has been allocated to PARD historic preservation projects through the Historical Preservation Fund from the Hotel Occupancy Tax revenue. 


Types of Events in Parks
Required Event Impact Mitigation

Special Events at Premier Park Locations

Historic Preservation and Heritage Tourism Program

The City of Austin’s Heritage Tourism Division, within the Economic Development Department, manages heritage tourism programs aimed to derive economic, business, and community benefits associated with preserving Austin as a place of personal heritage. Fifteen percent of Hotel Occupancy Tax revenue in Austin is allocated for historic preservation and comprises the Historic Preservation Fund.

The Parks and Recreation Department is an important partner in this effort as public parks, museums, and cultural centers are among the top tourist attractions in the City. Partially funded by Hotel Occupancy Tax revenue, the PARD Historic Preservation and Heritage Tourism Program manages approximately 350 historic and cultural resources and works to restore, steward, and promote spaces within Austin’s park system.

See below for Preservation Projects as well as Designations and Honors!

Completed Preservation Projects

  • Elisabet Ney Museum Historic Wall and Gate Restoration
  • Oakwood Cemetery Chapel Restoration
  • Oakwood Cemetery and Annex Gate Restoration and Fencing Improvements
  • Mayfield Park Historic Garden Shed Restoration

In Progress Preservation Projects

  • O. Henry Museum Restoration
  • Fiesta Gardens Restoration
  • Elisabet Ney Museum Restoration
  • Zilker Clubhouse Restoration
  • Seaholm Intake Building Rehabilitation
  • Zilker Café Rehabilitation
  • Barton Springs Bathhouse Rehabilitation
  • Brush Square Rehabilitation

Upcoming Preservation Projects

  • Sunken Gardens Rehabilitation at Zilker Park
  • Old Bakery and Emporium
  • Historic Norwood Estate Restoration
  • Henry Madison Log Cabin at Rosewood Park
  • Historic Montopolis Rural “Negro” School

National Register of Historic Places 

  • Fiesta Gardens
  • Fannie Davis Gazebo
  • Covert Park and Mt. Bonnell
  • Hancock Golf Course
  • Lions Municipal Golf Course

Recorded Texas Historic Landmark

  • Downs Field
  • Hezikiah Haskell House
  • Hancock Recreation Center

State of Texas Official Marker

  • Rosewood Neighborhood Park
  • Ollie O. Norwood Estate
  • Parque Zaragoza Neighborhood Park
  • Wood Street Settlement at Shoal Creek
  • Oertli Dairy
  • Lions Municipal Golf Course
  • Gant Family at Oakwood Cemetery 

State Antiquities Landmark

  • Covert Park at Mt. Bonnell
  • Pease District Park

Historic Texas Cemetery

  • Evergreen Cemetery

City of Austin Historic Landmark

  • Zilker Metropolitan Park Caretaker’s Cottage

Texas Recreation and Park Society Lone Star Legacy Park

  • Pease District Park
  • Eastwoods Neighborhood Park
  • Rosewood Neighborhood Park
  • Parque Zaragoza Neighborhood Park
  • Zilker Metropolitan Park