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Austin's kite festival will celebrate 96 years this weekend

The kite festival this Sunday will feature contests for the largest kite and the kite that flys the highest.
Patricia Lim
KUT News
The kite festival this Sunday will feature contests for the largest kite and the kite that flys the highest.

Even though we all just got done looking up at the sky on Monday, you won't want to turn your gaze away just yet. You'll be able to witness magic taking flight this Sunday at the annual ABC Kite Festival in Zilker Park.

The free festival runs from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and this year it's celebrating its 96th anniversary. The Exchange Club of Boston originally put it on, but for the last 12 years, ABC Home and Commercial Services has served as the event's main host.

“There is no better picture in all of Austin than being in Zilker Park, looking out across Town Lake with a sky full of kites against the backdrop of our beautiful downtown,” ABC president Bobby Jenkins said. “It's one that has truly been cherished by generations. I can't tell you how many people tell me ‘Oh, yeah, I remember my mom and dad would take us to the kite festival. Now I'm taking [my children], and it just goes on and on."

The festival features contests for the largest kites and the kites that fly the highest. Within the kite festival is MossFest, a children's concert named in memory of Jenkins’ oldest grandchild, John “Moss” Pieratt, Jr. who died in 2014.

Sara Hickman books the talent for the family-friendly concert that consists of four acts. The Barton Hills Choir, Justin Roberts, DiscoTex and Mr. Will are performing this year. The concert starts at 10 a.m. and goes until 1 p.m. on the north side of the park near the festival's Kids Club.

"The fun part is because I'm a musician, and I know so many people in the industry, it's just a joy to call people up and say ‘Hey, I'm booking this really lovely, family-friendly festival, and I'd love you to come perform it’ and so far 100% of people that have said yes," Hickman said.

Every year at the end of MossFest, Hickman leads the crowd in "Let's Go Fly A Kite" from the Disney movie "Mary Poppins" as a tribute to Moss.

"When I lead ‘Let's Go Fly A Kite’ it's a wonderful sight to see because you're singing 'Let's Go Fly A Kite’ looking over Zilker Park, and there's hundreds of beautiful kites in the air and all different types of family celebrating," Hickman said.

The event goes on rain or shine, so bring your kite or purchase one there, and get ready to fly.

“When the weather's great, it's wonderful, and even when the weather's not great it's a pretty darn good way to spend a Sunday afternoon," Jenkins said.

Copyright 2024 KUT News. To see more, visit KUT News.

Ren Leija