Highest Flying Kite

March 3, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Sunday is Kite Day in Austin. For over 80 years, people of all ages have been flocking to Zilker Park with kites in hand to test their kite flying skills. The Zilker Kite Festival, always held the first Sunday in March, is the true herald of Spring and one of my favorite festivals in Austin. It’s a perfect way to enjoy the people, the music and the weather here.

When I was 6, my dad and I built my first kite from tissue paper, sticks and string bought at the Five and Dime across from Casis School. Together, we drew a pattern on multiple pieces of card board, the kind that came from the cleaners and stuffed inside Daddy’s white starched shirts. Then, we carefully cut the thick green tissue paper and attached it to the frame we had made from the sticks and string. To decorate my kite, I cut a gold piece of paper in the shape of the Girl Scout seal and glued it carefully to the middle of my kite. We were ready for the big day. I could hardly wait to take my kite to Zilker Park the next Sunday after church. We arrived early and tied the string to the intersecting strings at the middle of the kite. I held the kite and Daddy held the large spool of string. In minutes, the kite took flight and I was exhilarated to see my kite soar higher and higher each time I let the string out on the spool. What a thrill! It was almost like the thrill I had when I first road my first bicycle without falling and when I drove my car to Austin High for the first time by myself. Sheer power and freedom.

Sunday, some lucky kid will win “Highest Flying Kite” and feel the same thrill I felt when I got the ribbon so many years ago with my home made kite. Get there early and enjoy a perfect day as thousands lift their kites and their spirits into the wind.

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