New Pillars of the City to be unveiled

Published 9:30 am Wednesday, July 1, 2020

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The Pillars of the City Committee will be unveiling plaques for the individuals chosen as the 2020 Pillars of the City during a ceremony at 3 p.m. on Friday, July 3, at the North Main Street floodwall.

Since 2016, individuals that have had an impact on the City of Austin have been selected by the Committee to be honored with a plaque placed on the floodwall. Each plaque contains an engraved image and biography of said individual.

Former mayor, teacher, community activist and civic leader Bonnie Rietz was honored by her family, who “sang her praises” to her – in French – to the children’s song, “Alouette,” during the Pillars of the City presentation last summer at Bandshell Park as part of Freedom Fest. The Austin City Council has made the decision to not have Fourth of July celebrations at Bandshell this summer because of COVID-19. Herald file photo

This year, the Committee selected three individuals who will be revealed on Friday. The 2019 inductees were Gertrude Ellis, John O’Rourke and Bonnie Rietz.

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Unveiling is usually conducted at the Community Bandshell during Freedom Fest; however, the floodwall was chosen after the Austin City Council cancelled Freedom Fest activities due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The unveiling can be seen beginning at 3 p.m. on Friday on Facebook Live at

In the event of inclement weather, the ceremony will be held at Austin City Hall.