For just how many years have Austinites gathered beneath the city’s big, blue sky and tried to fly a piece of paper tied to a string? More years than you’d think.
Austin’s kite festival is a long-celebrated annual tradition that fills the sky over Zilker Park with colorful, creative kites. You might be surprised to learn that, according to the festival’s website and some photographic proof via the Austin History Center, the event was held for the first time nearly 90 years ago. You can see a photo taken at the first “kite tournament,” which was held at Lamar Park, below.
According to a 1933 Chamber of Commerce map, Lamar Park was located on the southwest corner of what is now Cesar Chavez and Congress Avenue.
The ABC Kite Festival’s website reports the event was founded in 1929 by the Exchange Club of Austin and was “designed to foster creativity in children.” It is also, reportedly, the longest running festival of its kind in the country.
Another photo from the Austin History Center shows the 1929 winner of the “largest box kite category,” Winfred Gustafson.
For comparison, you can view pictures from Sunday’s festival here.