Annual Zilker Kite Festival in Austin

Zilker Kite Festival in Austin, Texas
••• Each year, the Zilker Kite festival brings thousands of homemade kites to the skies. Erin Landon

History of the Zilker Kite Festival:

Started in 1929, the Zilker Kite Festival is a staple in annual Austin events and celebrates the beauty of the homemade kite. It was created by The Exchange Club, a volunteer organization that raises funds to support non-profits that work to stop child abuse.

In 1936, the Exchange Club teamed up with the City of Austin Parks and Recreation Department to move the festival to Zilker Park, which has been its home ever since.

It is still co-sponsored by the two groups. The festival is free and open to the public, and is a huge hit with Austin families.

You Don't Need a Kite to Have Fun:

The kite festival is for anyone and everyone. While attendees are encouraged to bring their own homemade kites to participate, you are perfectly welcome to come just to watch! Each year there are thousands of kites flying in the sky, making for an incredible view. There are also plenty of other activities throughout the day, such as face painting, games and contests, rock wall climbing, moonwalks, and plenty of tasty food.

Kite Workshop:

If you didn’t make a kite before the festival, don’t panic; there is a field kite workshop at the festival where you can create your own. All of the materials are provided for you and it is guaranteed to fly. You'll be glad you made one during the mass ascension, when all the kites in the park go up together.

Kite-Flying Demonstrations:

If you thought kites were boring, this festival will convince you otherwise. Each year there are demonstrations by professional kite flyers all throughout the day of the festival. There are kite battles, kites choreographed to music (both alone and in groups), kite buggies, and massive kites ranging from 40 to 90 feet in size.

The Kite Contests:

The most anticipated part of the Zilker Kite Festival are all the contests. The kites must be homemade, and there are competitions for the most unusual, smallest, largest, highest angle, steadiest, strongest pulling, and best kite train. The contests are divided into two categories; one for youth (up to 16 years old) and adult (16 and up). The is also a 50-yard dash contest for children aged 7 to 12. The first, second, and third-place winners receive trophies for their valiant efforts.

The 2009 Zilker Kite Festival:

The 2009 Zilker Kite Festival will be held on March 1 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and the kite competition starts at 1 p.m. The mass kite ascension will be at 3 p.m. and should not be missed!

There is major construction going on in the Zilker Park area so parking will be extremely limited. Because of this, there will be free parking and shuttles from the State Parking Garage E (1604 E. Colorado Street) and the Tony Burger Activity Center (3200 Jones Road). Admission is free. The rain date is March 8.