Although it took a few seconds after a ceremonial countdown for the pumps to lift water from the San Pedro Creek to a massive new waterfall, the sight still delighted the crowd and drew a roar of oohs and ahhs.

Hundreds of people attended the Friday ceremony to celebrate the completion of Phase 1 of the San Pedro Creek Culture Park. After multiple delays the first phase took more than six years to complete.

“We wanted it to be different than the San Antonio River,” Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff said in a speech during the event. “We wanted to tell the story of the history of our emerging cultures through the use of color, words, murals, sculptures and tile design. It’s like an outside art gallery.”

A major piece of artwork along the waterway is Stream, a waterfall illuminated by LEDs that spans 250 feet near Texas Public Radio’s new headquarters.

New York artist Adam Frank created the piece and incorporated a bronze sculpture of a pill-shaped microphone, similar to those once used at the historic Alameda Theatre. Inside the sculpture is a microphone that lets visitors use their voices to convert sound into a light display.

Three additional phases of the linear park are expected to be completed by late 2023. Once finished, the park will stretch 2.2 miles from the flood inlet tunnel near the San Antonio Independent School District headquarters to the confluence of the Alazán and Apache creeks near the Union Stock Yards.

Nick Wagner worked as a photojournalist for the San Antonio Report.