In this installment of Discover Austin, we visit the Willie Nelson statue. Located downtown, stop by anytime to snap a photo with the bronze likeness of the legend.
New episodes of Discover Austin are available each week. Over the course of the series, we’ll cover everything from landmarks and events to restaurants and icons. If you prefer to read about the Willie Nelson statue, the video’s transcript is available below the video.
Greetings, I’m Craig Smyser. I’m downtown at the corner of 2nd and Lavaca at the Willie Nelson Statue for this episode of Discover Austin.
Made of bronze, weighing about a ton, and measuring eight feet tall, the Willie Nelson statue celebrates one of the city’s most iconic singers. Created by sculptor, Cleet Shield, the statue portrays Willie sitting on a stool in a reflective pose. He has a smile on his face, a bandana on his head, and signature ponytails hang in front of his shoulders. And of course, his famous guitar, Trigger, sits on his knee.
Willie moved to Austin in 1972 and has been associated with the city ever since. The statue is located in front of the studio in which Austin City Limits is recorded. In 1974, Willie produced and starred in the pilot episode of ACL and has been a champion of the television show ever since. Willie Nelson was a key figure in the early days of Austin’s live music scene as he enjoyed great popularity with his brand of “outlaw country” music. As a result, his career rebounded and he soon re-signed with a recording label leading to the successful career with which we are now familiar.
The statue was dedicated on April 20, 2012. Yes, you heard that right. The Willie Nelson statue was dedicated on 4/20, the counter culture holiday celebrating marijuana. And although the statue is bronze, Willie once quipped about it, that “I’ll be stoned one thousand years.”
Willie still spends a lot of time in Austin so when you’re out and about, keep an eye out for him. Thanks for joining me for this episode of Discover Austin.