March 4
Zilker Park - Yahoo!

Front Page

Yahoo, for all you dudes, is Texas talk. And you just thought it was a search engine....

Everything is Texas is bigger. At their kite festivals, they have big fields, big crowds, and big fun.

Susie and I were back for a third visit to the Zilker Park Kite Festival. And this year, they were kind enough to put us on the front page of the Austin newspaper.

The amazing part is that this event has been going on for 73 continuous years.

For all of these years, the Exchange Club of Austin has been celebrating children, families, and the arrival of Spring to Central Texas with a gathering that has changed remarkably little. Back in 1929, the contests included largest, smallest, most unusual, and strongest puller. And although the kite styles have changed, today those same contests are held and judged by the same rules.

Live from Zilker Park!

Of course there are some things that have changed. For example, my guess is that in 1929, they didn't get anyone out of bed for a live TV broadcast from the field. We arrived in the pre-dawn darkness.

"Ready to fly kites?" the perky anchorwoman asked. I laughed and told her I would wait until the sun came up.

Please, please will someone tell these media types that there is NO WIND at 7 am...

I'm not really complaining. A festival field before the festival is a tranquil place. And dawn is the best time to talk with friends before the crowds arrive and the frenzy starts. Besides, they had breakfast burritos out for the volunteers!

Giant Spikey Balls

It had been raining on the Texas Plains all week, but the sun came out the day we arrived and beamed throughout the festival. It was a near perfect day and we emptied several bags of fabric into the sky.

These are our new Giant Spikey Bouncers being tested in stronger breezes.

The thing I think I enjoy most about Zilker is the sense that it has been going on so long. Generations come out to the park. Parents who came as small children now bring their own kids to renew the tradition. Kitemasters vie for trophies who got their start over in the children's kitemaking tent.

Festival Panorama

This was a quick trip for us -- in on Saturday afternoon and out on Monday. So many of the trips are quick now days...

Each year when we come to Austin, our friends Bunny and Dorsey ask what we would like to see. And every time, just to tease them, we say we want to see the Alamo. (The Alamo is actually in San Antonio.)

The Alamo

Well this year, they turned the tables on us. Early Monday, we piled all our baggage in the car and headed out early for a trip to this famous Texas shrine. He heard the stories, reveled in the history, and squinted at the surrounding hotels that now cover the battlefield. We may have even seen the ghost of John Wayne who is said to visit.

Then we whisked our way back down the highway for the trip home and to prepared for our next kite sojourn.

Tomorrow (God, can it possibly be that soon??) we drive off to the northwest tip of Washington State for the Fort Worden Kitemakers Retreat. Meanwhile today, we have laundry to wash and a new kite shipment to unpack.

What did we get?? I have a bunch of new Peter Lynn Mini Octopus on the shelf now. If you want a yellow one, we'll take $50 off the price...

That's all for now. Gotta get back to work before John Wayne shows up here! See ya-all soon!

*Back to the Update Index

*Back to Gomberg Kite Productions International