‘Kickstart’ event livens up Wetzel Park


By Scott Akanewich

In the shadow of the old water tower in Wetzel Park, live music has returned to downtown Liberty Hill in the form of the “Water Tower Kickstart” summer concert series.

The series kicked off with a performance by Jazz Daddies on July 8, followed by Boot Rock Boys on July 15, and will conclude with an appearance by The Lonely Hearts Club on Aug. 12.

According to City of Liberty Hill Communications Manager Katie Amsler, the amalgamation of music, food, drink and family is long overdue in the lovely landscaped land on Loop 332 just south of City Hall.

“We’ve wanted to bring music to downtown for a while now,” said Amsler. “Fortunately, I had contacts with bands from other festivals we’ve done.”

The series is sponsored by Hughes & Company Real Estate, whose owner, Adrienne Hughes, was more than happy to provide an atmosphere that features something for everyone.

“We wanted to bring the community together with an event that’s family-friendly,” said Hughes. “Luckily, we were able to partner with Hell or High Water to have food and beverages and we made sure we had the kids’ games, too.”

Hughes said events such as the concert series will raise the profile of the local area, while still upholding the family values for which Liberty Hill is known.

“I think it’s important to bring more visibility to downtown,” she said. “But, we also want to let people know this is still very much a family-oriented place.”

Hughes began selling real estate locally in 2009 and said the growth over the past decade-plus has made events like ‘Kickstart’ viable.

“I’m really glad to see a lot of people out here,” she said. “Back when I started here, I don’t think there would’ve been anyone here. But, we never want to lose our small-town feel.”

Liberty Hill’s dramatic growth in recent years – compared to places such as Lampasas and Burnet, for example – can be attributed to three primary factors, said Hughes.

“First of all, the toll road runs all the way up here, making it much easier to commute from Austin,” she said. “In addition, the schools here are great and Liberty Hill is still someplace where you can get a little bit of land.”

Amsler was also pleased with the turnout, which had already increased from the first concert a week earlier.

“You take a risk any time you put on an event like this,” she said. “We didn’t know what to expect, but we already have more people out here for this one compared to the first.”

Amsler added the goal is to continue putting on community events as long as there is sustained interest and attendance.

“We would love to add more events as long as people keep showing up,” she said. “Whatever I have the budget to do, I’m going to.”

People are encouraged to bring lawn chairs to enjoy the festivities under the shade trees of the recently-renovated park located at the confluence of Loop 332 and CR 279 – a spot that provides a picturesque place for performances, said Amsler.

“Definitely, this is a great place for an event,” she said. “Also, it’s a low-stress event because it’s easy to park.”

Amsler said the concert series is intended to provide a boost for people who are nearing the end of the work week.

“It’s a great way to kickstart the weekend,” she said. “We want people to come out here and see what Liberty Hill is all about.”