Zilker Kite Festival

Zilker Kite Festival
Photo: abckitefestival.org
The Zilker Kite Festival, also known as the ABC Kite Festival, is an annual event that takes place in Austin, Texas. Held on the first Sunday in March, it is one of the most anticipated events in the city because it kicks off hundreds of springtime activities.

The Zilker Kite Festival is the longest running kite festival in the United States. It was founded in 1929 as the Kite Tournament. The Exchange Club of Austin created it to encourage creativity in children by giving them a constructive activity the community could participate in. The first tournament took place in Lamar Park.

In 1936, the Exchange Club moved the event to the newly opened Zilker Park with the assistance of the City of Austin Parks and Recreation Department. Two decades later, the competition was opened to contenders of all ages. Contest events have change very little since then.

The Zilker Kite Festival is more than just a kite tournament – it’s a fundraiser. The main goal of the festival is to support the mission and programs of Communities In Schools of Central Texas, a dropout prevention program whose mission is to help students stay in school and become productive members of the community.

The highlight of the festival is the Kite Contest open to everyone. The only condition is that only homemade single line kites are eligible for competition. Kites assembled from commercial kits and manufactured kites are not allowed to compete. The contest consists of several events including 50 Yard Dash (kids only), Highest Angle Kite, Steadiest Kite, Strongest Pulling Kite, Smallest Kite, Most Unusual Kite, Largest Kite, Oldest and Youngest Kite Fliers. Some events have Youth and Adult categories.

The kite festival is free. There is no admission fee, funds to cover the costs of the festival and to support Communities In Schools of Central Texas are raised through merchandise sales, vendor booths, sponsorships, and donations. The festival lasts one day and is held rain or shine.

Zilker Kite Festival

Photo: Stanford




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