With the Austin skyline as a backdrop, hundreds of kites flew above the great lawn of Zilker Park during the 85th annual Zilker Kite Festival. Although it was only the first Sunday in March, organizers couldn’t have hoped for a more perfect kite-flying day: warm, sunny, and breezy, with afternoon temperatures reaching the low ’70s.
Part of the great lawn was roped off for competitions such as the 50-Yard Dash, Most Unusual Kite, Smallest Kite, and Strongest Pulling Kite. We couldn’t stay the entire afternoon, but we did watch the kite-flying demonstration while eating our kebaps from the Verts booth. Handlers seemed to have difficulty getting the biggest kites off the ground–perhaps the wind was not strong enough?—but a few did manage to stay aloft for short periods of time.
Since more than 20,000 people attended this year’s festival, tangled and crossed strings were a big problem. We were constantly stepping over or under strings as we made our way around the park. Kite-eating trees also claimed their share of victims.