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Aqua Fest Boat Parade (1972)

Wallace and Euna Pryor

Silent | 1972

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  •  Glittering floats upon the water 
  •  Footage changes to a police arrest 
 
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  • Wally Pryor Wally Pryor
  • Aqua Festival Aqua Festival
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This B-roll footage documents the many glittering floats that were a part of the 1972 Austin’s Aqua Fest boat parade. Austin Aqua Festival was a ten-day festival held at Austin’s Town Lake to promote Texas Lake tourism. The festival was held annually from 1962 until 1998. Illuminated on the night waters, floats showcased City Plaza, the Admirals Club, and the Aqua Beauty Contest. This footage also includes unrelated scenes of a man being arrested and placed inside of a police car.
Known to many as the “Voice of the Longhorns,” Wally Pryor served as the announcer for UT sports from 1953 until 2002. While his voice was certainly recognizable he also played an active role as a producer – for KTBC, amongst others – and regularly served as an emcee for various events. Wally regularly worked as a producer for his older brother Richard “Cactus” Pryor. The films in the Wally Pryor collection represent a range of films from home movies, to various pieces he produced, films featuring himself, and several films featuring Cactus Pryor.
The Austin Aqua Festival began in 1962 as Aqua Fest, a ten-day festival that featured local music acts and a variety of water-related events, held in August to boost tourism during a normally slow season. Most events took place on the newly-formed Town Lake and “Festival Beach,” a park along the river just east of Interstate 35. The festival included parades, a variety of races, a beauty pageant, a rodeo, and theme nights. In 1980, major Aqua Festival events were moved to the larger Auditorium Shores park, where multiple stages for entertainment shifted the focus of the festival towards ever larger musical acts and away from local talent and water sports through the 80s and 90s. After a few years of higher ticket prices and dropping attendance, the last festival was held in 1998.