As far as wholesome, dazzling civic events go, it’s hard to get more hyperlocal and specific than Waterloo Greenway’s Creek Show.

Inaugurated in 2013, the Creek Show enlists some of Austin’s most innovative architects, landscape architects, artists, and designers to create lighted installations along the creek. The resulting temporary show is free and open to the public for 10 nights, when visitors can stroll along the creek to view them as well as enjoying food and drink, live music, and general merriment. Consider it a sort of festive holiday-season preshow.

The cancellation of the 2020 Creek Show (we all know why, right?) and the fact that greenway set-piece Waterloo Park was under reconstruction for the entirety of the show’s existence has added up to a 2021 show that is especially anticipated. In terms of experience, it promises to be a departure from previous shows: It’s the first Creek Show to be held in the newly opened Waterloo Park proper, and that means it can be accompanied by live music performed from the park’s new Moody Amphitheater.

When to attend

The 2021 Creek Show runs Friday, November 12, through Sunday, November 21, and will be open 6 p.m.-10 p.m. nightly. While the show is free, its popularity means you’ll need to make reservations to attend.

What you’ll see

This year’s designers include Nicholas DeBruyne with Wevolve Labs; Clayton Cain and Ian Randall; Brooke Burnside, Marigny "Frankie’" Klein, Christian Klein, Irela Casanova, Jamie Chioco, Christy Taylor, AIA, and Matt Satter with Chioco Design and Drophouse Design; DWG; and Jake Chavez, Maxine Kraft, Sydney Galloso, Zach McLain, and Faiza Tayyab for GFF Austin.

SWAY, Clayton Cain and Ian RandallCourtesy of Waterloo Greenway

Music lineup

  • Friday, November 12: Opening Night Creek Show Showcase with DJ Zetroc, Stephanie Bergara, Mélat, Tameca Jones, and Riders Against the Storm
  • Saturday, November 13: Superfónicos
  • Sunday, November 14: Hope 4 Hip Hop Breakin’ Dance Performance
  • Monday, November 15: Derrick Davis
  • Tuesday, November 16: Creek Show Artist Talk
  • Friday, November 19: Big Wy’s Brass Band
  • Saturday, November 20: Night Drive
  • Sunday, November 21: Bidi Bidi Banda

BioNest, Wevolve Labs, Nicholas DeBruyneCourtesy of Waterloo Greenway

Food and family fun

While the focus of Creek Show is always the wild and wonderful installations, Waterloo Park will also feature family-friendly, experiential activities at the CapMetro Family Zone on the Meredith Heritage Tree Deck. Included are activities from Mad Science, GirlStart, Austin Watershed Protection Department, Austin Parks and Recreation Department, Austin FC, and more.

si-glo, DWGCourtesy of Waterloo Greenway

Food and drink options during the show will include Burro Cheese Kitchen food truck, Moody Amphitheater concessions, and adult beverages available at the Truly Beer Garden and Tito’s Rooftop Terrace.

CREEKture, GFF Austin; Jake Chavez, Maxine Kraft, Sydney Galloso, Zach McLain, Faiza TayyabCourtesy of Waterloo Greenway

As always, the Creek Show Lounge will be open to provide ways to learn more about Waterloo Park, Waterloo Greenway membership and other opportunities for helping out on the project, and upcoming community programming.

High Light, Chioco Design and Drophouse Design; Brooke Burnside, Marigny "Frankie" Klein, Christian Klein, Irela Casanova, Jamie Chioco, Christy Taylor, AIA, Matt SatterCourtesy of Waterloo Greenway

COVID-19 stuff

From the organizers: “Waterloo Greenway Conservancy and its partners will follow all local, state, and CDC COVID-19 health and safety guidelines. Per City of Austin and CDC recommendations, all guests are encouraged to wear face masks at Creek Show. Based on City of Austin and CDC COVID-19 guidelines and recommendations, additional protocols may be required for entry. Guests will receive any additional information prior to their reservation date.”

• First look: Creek Show 2021

Waterloo Park coverage