Weather could wash out kite festival for good this year

AUSTIN (KXAN) — For the first time since the 1920s, an Austin tradition may get the axe because of the weather.

Last weekend, a strong cold front pushed the Zilker Kite Festival back a weekend, and wet weather is in the forecast again. Organizers say they can’t reschedule this time. They hope to make the final call Friday. As of Thursday evening, the festival is scheduled for Sunday, March 8, from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m.

Austin resident Mike Martin says he isn’t worried about the chance of rain.

“People are pretty resilient,” he said. “They’ll probably still come out. As long as it’s not thundering and lightning, we’ll be out here.”

Mike, Ann Marie and Alex Martin practice kite flying in Zilker Park. (Frank Martinez/KXAN)
Mike, Ann Marie and Alex Martin practice kite flying in Zilker Park. (Frank Martinez/KXAN)

The Martin family took advantage of Thursday’s sunshine to get some practice in before the annual festival.

“It’s just an Austin tradition,” he said. “The kids have never been out here. I’ve been out here many times. I have to bring them out to see it once at least.”

Because the kite fest falls on the same weekend as South by Southwest and the start of spring break, organizers say there are more challenges for the rescheduled event. They’re now competing for resources, vendors and volunteers.

The Zilker Kite Festival draws between 10,000 and 25,000 people each year depending on the weather. The beautiful conditions in 2013 brought out one of the largest crowds.

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