Bayou Bonanza

Partying starts early, goes late for official opening of $58 million Buffalo Bayou Park

Fest starts early, goes late for official opening of $58 million park

News, Shelby, Buffalo Bayou Park opening, Oct. 2015, night procession
Free Radicals brass band part of the procession of illuminated lanterns celebrating the opening of Buffalo Bayou Park. Photo by Katya Horner
News, Shelby, Buffalo Bayou Park opening, Oct. 2015, Batala Ribbon Cutting
Batala drummers announce the ribbon cutting and lead the night parade. Photo by Katya Horner
News, Shelby, Buffalo Bayou Park opening, Oct. 2015, ribbon cutting
Rich and Nancy Kinder man the scissors at the official ribbon cutting for Buffalo Bayou Park. Photo by Katya Horner
News, Shelby, Buffalo Bayou Park opening, Oct. 2015, Chita Johnson
KHOU Channel 11 meteorologist Chita Johnson at the ribbon cutting ceremony. Photo by Katya Horner
News, Shelby, Buffalo Bayou Park opening, Oct. 2015, Denise Bates, Scott McClelland, Winell Herron, Doug Herron
 Denise Bates, Scott McClelland, Winell Herron, Doug Herron. Photo by Katya Horner
News, Shelby, Buffalo Bayou Park opening, Oct. 2015, Eleanor Tinsley park
Crowds gather at Eleanor Tinsley Park where live music, crafts and kids games were part of the entertainment. Photo by Katya Horner
News, Shelby, Buffalo Bayou Park opening, Oct. 2015, Roxanne Neumann, Anne Olson, Nancy Kinder, Rich Kinder
Roxanne Neumann, Anne Olson, Nancy Kinder, Rich Kinder. Photo by Katya Horner
News, Shelby, Buffalo Bayou Park opening, Oct. 2015, David Heaney, Mayor Annise Parker, Ann Lents, Margaret Wolfe
David Heaney, Mayor Annise Parker, Ann Lents, Margaret Wolfe. Photo by Katya Horner
News, Shelby, Buffalo Bayou Park opening, Oct. 2015, Trent, Zane, Brady Carruth
Trent Carruth, Zane Carruth, Brady Carruth. Photo by Katya Horner
News, Shelby, Buffalo Bayou Park opening, Oct. 2015, Guy Hagstette, Barry Mandel, Bob Eury
Guy Hagstette, Barry Mandel, Bob Eury. Photo by Katya Horner
News, Shelby, Buffalo Bayou Park opening, Oct. 2015, Asha Dhuka, Faisal Momin
Asha Dhuka, Faisal Momin. Photo by Katya Horner
News, Shelby, Buffalo Bayou Park opening, Oct. 2015, canoes
Canoing was part of the Saturday fun at Buffalo Bayou Park. Photo by Katya Horner
News, Shelby, Buffalo Bayou Park opening, Oct. 2015, night procession
News, Shelby, Buffalo Bayou Park opening, Oct. 2015, Batala Ribbon Cutting
News, Shelby, Buffalo Bayou Park opening, Oct. 2015, ribbon cutting
News, Shelby, Buffalo Bayou Park opening, Oct. 2015, Chita Johnson
News, Shelby, Buffalo Bayou Park opening, Oct. 2015, Denise Bates, Scott McClelland, Winell Herron, Doug Herron
News, Shelby, Buffalo Bayou Park opening, Oct. 2015, Eleanor Tinsley park
News, Shelby, Buffalo Bayou Park opening, Oct. 2015, Roxanne Neumann, Anne Olson, Nancy Kinder, Rich Kinder
News, Shelby, Buffalo Bayou Park opening, Oct. 2015, David Heaney, Mayor Annise Parker, Ann Lents, Margaret Wolfe
News, Shelby, Buffalo Bayou Park opening, Oct. 2015, Trent, Zane, Brady Carruth
News, Shelby, Buffalo Bayou Park opening, Oct. 2015, Guy Hagstette, Barry Mandel, Bob Eury
News, Shelby, Buffalo Bayou Park opening, Oct. 2015, Asha Dhuka, Faisal Momin
News, Shelby, Buffalo Bayou Park opening, Oct. 2015, canoes

There could not have been a more perfect day for the official ribbon cutting at Buffalo Bayou Park than that which welcomed thousands of visitors on Saturday. Ribbon ceremonies with the mayor began early afternoon with activities continuing throughout the day with the big event launching just after sunset.

With the boom of drums by Batala, an international Brazilian percussion group, Nancy and Rich Kinder, the park's major benefactors, cut the ribbon that was held by dignitaries including project director Guy Hagstette, Buffalo Bayou Partnership president Anne Olson, Mayor Annise Parker, Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee and Houston City Council member Ellen Cohen.

And with that the 160-acre, $58 million park — a public-private partnership led by Buffalo Bayou Partnership, the City of Houston through the Houston Parks and Recreation Department, the Harris County Flood Control District and the Kinder Foundation — was officially open for business.

Following speeches and special thanks to Mike Talbott of the Harris County Flood Control District, Bob Eury of the Downtown Redevelopment Authority/TIRZ #3 and Joe Turner, Houston Parks and Recreation Department head, the activity spread throughout the park.

Thousands of visitors joined the festivities that included food trucks, canoeing and live music at the Hobby Family Pavilion while at Eleanor Tinsely Park there was more music, kids' crafts and live music.

The spectacular part of the celebration began around 8 pm when 250 volunteers carried illuminated lanterns in the "Confluence: A Journey in Five Movements" procession around the park, led by the Batala drum group and the Free Radicals brass band.