Say Hello (Again) to Republic Square

Downtown park hosts first farmers' market on Saturday

A photo from the Austin Food & Wine Fest's Rock Your Taco Showdown in Republic Square, April 27, 2013
A photo from the Austin Food & Wine Fest's Rock Your Taco Showdown in Republic Square, April 27, 2013 (Photo by John Anderson)

Downtown’s historic Republic Square reopened to the public last week, after being closed since last February.

Having undergone a series of renovations, the site, one of five public squares designed by Austin’s first mayor Edwin Waller, will once again serve as home base for the Sustainable Food Center’s weekly Saturday farmers’ market, starting this Saturday (Oct. 14). But that’s just the beginning of what’s planned. The official grand opening this spring will mark the completion of a park cafe and public restrooms. Expect public events and availability for private rentals. In August, City Council approved the square’s programming plans to include concerts and movie screenings, as well as fitness and education events, making Republic Square the “first park of its kind in Austin,” touted Mandi Thomas, development director for the Downtown Austin Alliance, which operates Republic Square as part of a private/public partnership with the Austin Parks Foundation and the city’s Parks and Recreation Department. “Most other cities have these private/public partnerships that fund daily programming – that’s something we don’t have in Austin. The idea is to have this community space where something is always going on.”

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Republic Square, Downtown Austin Alliance, Austin Parks Foundation, Mandi Thomas

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