Austin is one of the top cities in the country for families. With our temperate weather, extensive park and trail system and a wide variety of kid-friendly events, our town is a great place to raise children.
The Austin Kite Festival has become the city’s favorite annual family-friendly festival. The event is not only the way many Austinites commemorate the arrival of Spring, but also it is an excuse for all of us to connect with our inner child and experience the simple thrill of getting a kite flying high in the sky.
ABC Home & Commercial Services has been serving the Austin community for over 60 years. For the last three years, ABC has sponsored the Kite Festival, which has been produced by the Exchange Club of Austin.
In 2017, ABC Owner Bobby Jenkins announced that the company will assume management of the festival, which is now called the ABC Kite Fest. The Exchange Club will continue to run the kite competitions, and ABC will oversee the festival operations and fundraising.
Kite Festival History
In 1929, a civic group called The Exchange Club created the “Kite Tournament” to encourage creativity in children. The first festival was held at Lamar Park, which was located close to the present-day intersection of Congress Avenue and Cesar Chavez Street.
After Zilker Park opened in 1936, the festival was moved to the Great Lawn. Austinites of all ages have been flying kites on the first Sunday of March ever since. The event is currently the longest-running kite festival in the country.
Running a huge event like the Kite Fest requires a significant amount of planning, coordination and funding. A few years ago, a downturn in donations put the future of the festival in jeopardy. That’s when ABC first stepped in to help bridge the gap. ABC’s new contract will ensure that Austinites can keep enjoying the Kite Fest for generations to come.
The 2017 ABC Kite Fest
This year’s ABC Kite Fest will start at 10 a.m. on Sunday, March 12, 2017.
**The 2017 ABC Kite Fest has been canceled due to inclement weather.**
The event is free and open to the public, and takes place on the Great Lawn at Zilker Park, right in the heart of the city. Proceeds benefit Communities in Schools of Central Texas.
Although many attendees come to the Kite Fest to fly their store-bought kites, anyone is welcome to compete in the contest or just observe the once-a-year sight of hundreds of kites flying in the air with the Austin skyline in the background. To take part in the contest, you must have a single-line, homemade kite. There is no cost to enter the competition.
The Kite Contest begins at 1:00 p.m. Trophies will be awarded for first, second and third place winners in each category. There is a separate division for youth (age 15 and under) and adults. Contests include the 50 Yard Dash (kids only), Highest Angle Kite, Steadiest Kite, Strongest Pulling Kite, Smallest Kite, Most Unusual Kite, Largest Kite and Oldest and Youngest Kite Fliers. For more information about the contests and kite competition rules, click here.
If you don’t have a kite, you can purchase one at the Kite Fest, or make one at the kite making workshop, which will take place from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m. Vendors will also be on hand with kids’ activities, including face painting, balloon art, inflatables and more. Food will be available for purchase on-site from a variety of local food trailers, including Crepe Crazy, Garbo’s Lobster Truck, Moojo and Southside Flying Pizza.
Anteater Fun Run & MossFest
New to this year’s event is the Anteater Fun Run. The run is 2.1 miles and begins at the Zilker Tree at 9 a.m. Registration for adults is $25, and kids 12 and under are free. Strollers are permitted. The run ends at the Mutual MossFest stage and participants can enjoy post-race refreshments and entertainment.
MossFest is an annual concert to promote awareness of the sudden unexplained death of children over the age of 12 months and a way to honor the life of John “Moss” Pieratt, Jr. Big Don, The Barton Hills Choir, The Hey Lollies and Trout Fishing in America will perform on the stage at the north side of the Great Lawn. All proceeds from the run benefit Communities in Schools and the Moss Pieratt Foundation.
ABC Gives Back To The Community
ABC is dedicated to serving the greater Austin community. Through ABC’s involvement in the Kite Fest, the Trail of Lights and other popular community events and nonprofit organizations, the company shows its commitment to making sure Austin remains one of the best places to live in the country.