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Travis Park was dressed and decorated in white on Friday evening, for the second annual “Dinner ‘n Blanc” event in Travis Park. Hosted by Center City Development and Operations, the unique event celebrated the park’s second anniversary since its revitalization.
At the heart of downtown, Travis Park is surrounded by businesses, churches, and the Tobin Center for the Performing Arts . The park, located at 301 E. Travis St., also serves as the front yard for the newly re-opened St. Anthony Hotel.
Inspired by Paris’ own “Diner en Blanc” party, the event required guests to dress in white from head to toe. Guests were invited to bring their own picnic basket dinners, purchase from participating food trucks, or order dinner baskets from Nectar Wine Bar & Ale House.
The park was filled with hundreds of attendees who dressed in all white, in addition to the event’s white linens, chairs, and décor. Entertainment included a special performance by Ballet San Antonio, local aerialists, and live art throughout the evening.
“Everybody is wearing white, so it’s like this blank slate symbolizing that anything is possible,” said Tonya Baum, special projects manager for Center City Development and Operations. “When it gets dark tonight, everything is going to turn to color, and what we’ve done is brought color and liveliness back to the park.”
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As the sun set, lights came on to illuminate the trees. The color-changing lights shone in festive colors on the smiling, laughing faces in the crowd. The event’s DJ played music as attendees– young and old– flocked to the foot of the stage to dance. In the background, aerialists spun gracefully in silks, while a man on stilts towered over the crowds, as they moved across the dance floor.
“This is what community is all about,” said Councilman Robert Treviño (D1) as he looked out at the crowds enjoying the park and the event’s activities.
Noah Almanza, president and CEO of the San Antonio Parks Foundation, said that the idea was inspired by Bryant Park in New York, and other similar spaces throughout the country that have become inviting and invigorating places for the community. The transformation of Travis Park has resulted in a resurgence of visitors, not just among tourists, but among locals too.
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“Before you used to walk around the park, and now you walk through the park” Almanza said. “That’s the clear difference.”
Park and event officials agreed that the park has grown in programming and popularity.
“We went from less than a dozen events at Travis park to more than 500 events a year,” Baum added.
Top Image: Travis Park and guests are donned in all white at the second annual Dinner en Blanc celebration. Photo by Bria Woods.