Festival FAQs

Where in Zilker Park is the Kite Festival held?
The Kite Festival takes place in Zilker Park (2100 Barton Springs Road in Austin, TX 78704) on fields located between Barton Springs Road to the south and Lady Bird Lake to the north. A park road, Lou Neff Road, runs around the border of this area. These fields are now known as the “Great Lawn”. Zilker Park opened in 1936, and the 1937 maps calls this area the ‘Kite Flying Fields’, so there has been a long history of kite flying at Zilker.
Who can participate at the festival? Do I have to fly a kite to come to this event?
This is a day for everyone to fly kites. However, you don’t have to fly a kite to come to the event. A lot of folks make this a day in the park to have time together and see this incredible sight. After seeing all the kites, you might want to try one. Kite merchants will be there in case the notion strikes you. There will also be a kite making workshop (open 11-4) where a kite is made in less than 10 minutes that’s guaranteed to fly.
Is there a cost to get in?
The kite festival is FREE. There is no admission. Bring a few bucks for concessions or a t-Shirt. There will be an array of delicious food offered. Every purchase at the Kite Festival supports local non-profits working to prevent child abuse.
What time does it start?
Booths open at 10am, registration for the kite contest starts at 11am, and kite contest events start at 1:00pm. The Festival closes at 5:00pm. We ask that everyone leave the park as promptly as possible after 5:00 so clean-up crews can begin putting the park back in order for other visitors on Monday.
Is there parking at Zilker?

Barton Springs Road will be closed from 9 am to 6 pm during the Kite Festival. Free Parking is available at the State Garages downtown and at the Toney Burger center. Visit our page on Attending for more details on parking, or check the blog’s latest post for any changes.

Shuttle rides are $5 (round trip) for persons 12 and over. Kids and dogs ride free. Shuttles will start picking up folks at 9:45 am and will be running to the park until 2:30 pm. Shuttles will continue to bring folks back to the garage from the park until 5:30 pm. (The last shuttle leaves the park at 5:30pm). The reason we stop taking folks to the park after 2:30pm is that, by the time the bus makes it to the park, there would not be time to do much except get back on the bus. (The hours of the event are 10am to 5pm.) Everyone is welcome on the shuttles. No large coolers please; they are too big to fit with the limited seating space. Well mannered dogs on leashes can ride on the shuttles.

***Shuttle drivers have the authority to refuse to allow any person, animal or object on the bus.***

Please do not plan to park in Zilker Park. Space is very limited and much is reserved for volunteers, vendors, event staff, and sponsors.

Please do not park on the Mopac service road, Rollingwood or the adjacent neighborhoods. The Police will be ticketing and towing.

The Palmer Events Center (just down Barton Springs Road, east of Lamar), depending upon their events calendar, may have parking available for the Kite Festival. There is a fee for that garage.

Special Needs parking is available in the park. Be sure you have the special needs hanging placard (or other special needs parking designation). Enter from the Mopac side of the park for special needs parking. The special needs parking lot is on the south side of Barton Springs Road, just across from the Kite Festival. Drive in like you are going to the pool. The lots are just beyond the playground.

Bicycle parking is available. We will have bicycle racks next to the Special Needs parking on the south side of Barton Springs Road, across from the Great Lawn. We hope many of you can bike in to enjoy the Kite Festival.

Don’t forget the park is also on the Hike and Bike trail around Lady Bird Lake and Capital Metro has a couple of stops near the park as well: https://www.capmetro.org/schedulemap.aspx

Please do not plan to park in Zilker Park. Space is very limited and much is reserved for volunteers, vendors, event staff, and sponsors.

What are the Kite Festival rules?
  • Be considerate of other kite fliers
  • Do not use the kind of string that has the capability of cutting other kite strings. See the above rule.
  • Don’t bring anything to the Festival that puts others in danger. There are little kids and puppies there!
  • Speaking of puppies, if yours has to ‘go’, don’t leave it; pick it up and toss it. Bring bags!
  • Don’t fly your kites in the street or near power lines
  • Help us be green by depositing your trash and recyclables in the appropriate containers. This helps us save money so we can help more kids!

Be aware there is a burn ban in place in Austin’s parks, so no grills are allowed. Also, there’s no smoking allowed in city parks. For Austin Park and Recreation Park Rules, visit the Parks & Rec website.

Are there other kids activities besides kite flying?
Yes! The second annual MossFest will take place at Lou Neff point in Zilker Park.  It begins at 10 am.  Moon walks, and other inflatable attractions, hair braid bar, cupcake decorating, a children’s art mural, face painting, balloon artists, and lots of fun FREE activities for kids of all ages. There is also a Doggie Den for your canine children! (There is a small charge, $2-$5 for inflatable attractions, face painting, and balloon animals.)
What if it rains?
Bad weather does happen. We have a rain date of one week later — same place, same time, same schedule. It takes a LOT of bad weather to get us to postpone the event. You can call the Kite Festival hotline at 512-448-KITE (5483) for an update or follow us on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. The decision will be posted by 9am Kite Day morning.
Can we get a kite there?
Kite sellers will be on hand selling kites. We also offer two Kite Festival workshops where you can learn how to build a kite. One Kite Making Workshop will be located near MossFest Stage and the other near the Kite Contest Field.  The workshops opens at 10am.
Can I bring my dog?
Yes, the Kite Festival is famous for being canine friendly. Our furry friends will be able to relax in the Doggie Den.  Please bring your pet on a leash to insure the safety of everyone. Break out your dog’s favorite t-shirt if you want. This is the place for well dressed dogs. Also, please be considerate of others and the environment, and pick up after your dog.
Can I Bring a Picnic?
Yes, but no glass or styrofoam containers, please. We encourage you to create a picnic by purchasing the delicious foods offered at the event. The most incredible food available in Austin will be offered at the Kite Festival.  See the list of food vendors here.
Who can enter the Kite Contest?
Anybody with a homemade kite can enter. The kite contest is open to all ages and there is no cost to compete. Competition kites must be homemade — no mass-produced, manufactured stuff. The Kite Festival wants to inspire your creativity. There are separate adult and youth categories for the contest.
Can I register in the contest ahead of time?
No, there’s no advance registration. Bring your kite on the day of the event. Registration tables open at 11am and close at 2pm.
Do I have to compete in the contest to fly a kite at the event?

Absolutely not! Kite Day is for flying kites. Bring your kite, no matter what kind it is, let it fly. Let’s see how many we can paint the sky with.

FYI, during the kite contest, we only allow contestants to fly kites on the field roped off for the contest. You can fly kites anywhere else. (Well, maybe not near a kite eating tree. There are a few of those in the park.) Also, please be considerate of the kite contest, and refrain from flying your kite over the contest field while the contest is going on.

Who puts this event on and who benefits?

The ABC Kite Fest is presented by The Friends of the ABC Zilker Kite Festival, The Exchange Club of Austin, the City of Austin and ABC Home and Commercial Services. The ‘Kite Tournament’ was created by The Exchange Club of Austin in 1929 with a mission to encourage creativity in children.

The national mission of the Exchange Club is the prevention of child abuse, and membership is open to anyone interested in making their community a better place to live. To learn more, visit their website.

Proceeds from this year’s Kite Festival will benefit Communities in Schools of Central Texas and The Moss Pieratt Foundation. Communities In Schools is a dropout prevention program. Through campus-based programs and special projects, Communities In Schools creates a network of volunteers, social services, businesses, and community resources that work together to break down barriers and help students succeed. To learn more about CIS visit their website. The Moss Pieratt Foundation is a non-profit organization dedicated to funding research and promoting awareness of SUDC (sudden unexplained death in children over the age of 12 months.)  To learn more about TMF visit their website.

Got a question about the Zilker Kite Festival not answered here?
Call 512-448-KITE and leave a message, or send an email to: production@abckitefestival.com. We’ll get back to you as soon as possible.