Who needs a birthday cake when the celebration includes a parade of neon butterfly bicycles, dancers tossing glowing balls in the night air and trees "swaying" in breezes of LED lighting? Certainly not the celebrants who packed the party tent in Hermann Park for the greenspace's 100th anniversary soirée.
The extraordinary light-filled celebration, orchestrated by CultureMap co-founder Nic Phillips, was icing on the birthday cake for the 800 partygoers who helped raise $728,735 for park conservation and beautification.
Praise ran high for the evening chaired by Mo and Ric Campo, Anne and Albert Chao and Andrea and Bill White.
Guests first gathered on the plaza overlooking the Jones Reflection pool where artist Louis Bourgeois' colossal Spider cast its menacing presence over the revelers, most of whom dressed in summer whites for the al fresco evening. Next, it was on to the party tent on the banks of McGovern Lake for dinner by City Kitchen and birthday wishes led by Ann Kennedy, Hermann Park Conservancy board chair.
Suchu Dance performers, who had greeted guests as they arrived along the reflection pool, rollicked through the after-dinner scene with lighted balloons the size of large beach balls and Austin Bike Zoo provided the bicycle butterflies that glowed in neon. Phillips' intriguing light show gave the sense that the statue of Gen. Sam Houston was dancing to the music and that the trees along the allées were swaying in the wind.
The chic crowd included Phoebe and Bobby Tudor, Susie and Sanford Criner, Kathrine McGovern, Judy Nyquist, Holly A.N. Smith and Austin Alvis, Heidi and Marcus Smith, Linda and Barry Hunsaker, Diane Lokey Farb, Divya and Chris Brown, Anne and John Clutterbuck, Minnette and Peter Boesel, Gracie and Bob Cavnar and Hermann Park Conservancy executive director Doreen Stoller and Dan Piette.