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Houstonians, it's time to pull out your party hats—just make sure they’re eco-friendly. To celebrate the fifth anniversary of Buffalo Bayou Park, the Buffalo Bayou Partnership is hosting an Artful Anniversary, a series of five free virtual experiences—one in honor of each year—throughout the month of October. 

The party starts with an Insta-worthy visual art installation from Urban Yarnage. The knitted art of Knitscape on Rosemont Bridge, 105 Sabine St, will celebrate Buffalo Bayou’s ecological diversity in a bright and colorful way. This won’t be the first time the local knitting and crocheting group has teamed up with the park. In celebration of International Yarn Bomb Day in 2015, Urban Yarnage decked out the intersection at Allen Parkway and Taft Street with a similar flowery wonderscape.

After that, Houston Grand Opera hits the park’s pontoon boat-turned-stage for an evening of Songs on the Water. Audiences can watch this live-streamed, 90-minute musical cruise along the bayou from the comfort of their own couches. Urban Souls Dance Company follows with another river-themed performance, Take Me to the Water, the week after HGO's performance. However this one will take place below ground in the park’s vast Cistern. It’s sure to be a performance the likes of which the nearly century-old subterranean reservoir-turned public art space has never seen before.

In what is guaranteed to be an extra-special treat for Houston visual art lovers, legendary artist Carmen Herrera will be showing Estructuras Monumentales, a major exhibition of outdoor sculptures featuring four newly created works from the 105-year-old Cuban-American minimalist. Finally, Da Camera brings the month-long anniversary to a close with a compilation of filmed performances at three iconic park spots. These performances include a jazz quintet at Lost Lake, a string quartet at Anthony Shumate’s Listen sculpture, and a solo harpist at the Hobby Family Pavilion at The Water Works.

Buffalo Bayou has certainly earned itself a big party. The 160-acre greenspace has won more than 50 local, national, and international awards over its 30-plus-year history, all while remaining a special place for Houstonians to gather—even in the aftermath of hurricanes and during global pandemics. Happy anniversary!

Oct 3–31. Free. Buffalo Bayou Park More info at buffalobayou.org. Check out the full Artful Anniversary schedule below:

Buffalo Bayou Park’s Artful Anniversary

Knitscape: Oct 3–31, 2020

Songs on the Water: Oct 10, 2020

Take Me to the Water: Oct 17, 2020

Estructuras Monumentales: Oct 22, 2020–Apr 23, 2021

Da Camera: Oct 24, 2020