It’s that time of year again where novice kite flyers and OG kite enthusiasts ascend upon every inch of Zilker Park to enjoy all things kite, as well as Austin’s popular food trailers. The ABC Zilker Kite Festival goes down…or up…Sunday, Mar. 2 at Zilker Park from 10 am – 5 pm. (*Rain date will be Mar. 9)

The Zilker Kite Festival is a great excuse to get out with friends and family, or even alone, and enjoy a bit of Austin culture. I have gone for the past three years and have never even seen the section of the park where the food trailers and kite contests happen. I always look forward to going late in the afternoon about an hour before the last shuttle leaves, parking down by the Pawn Shop where the old Run Tex use to be, walking across the pedestrian bridge with my family and enjoying some low key time on the green with a few other low key Kite Festival attendees, an epic dirt hill that kids cannot resist conquering, and dogs. Always dogs.

If you live for the kite-making, contests and annual festivities of The Zilker Kite Festival, here’s the tentative schedule of events, some of the vendors and important information about getting there, as indicated on their website:


10 am
Festival opens
First shuttles arrive at the park
Concessions sales begin

11 am
Kite Making workshop opens
Registration for Kite Contest opens
Kite Flying Demonstrations begins

1 pm
Presentation of colors
Kite Contest starts
50 yard dash
Highest angle kite
Steadiest kite
Strongest pulling kites
Smallest kite
Most Unusual Kite
Largest Kite
Mass Kite Ascent (after contest)

2:30 pm
Last shuttle bus leaves from parking areas
(be in line before 2:30)

5 pm
Festival officially closes

5:30 pm
Last shuttle bus leaves the park

No Austin outside event is complete without an awesome assembly of our town’s best food trailers, restaurants and local businesses. Austin festival staples like Abrakadoodle will be there with face painting and artsy fun for the kids and Amy’s Ice Cream. Other local favorites who will be there include Culvers, Daily Juice, Hill Country Kettle Corn, The Peached Tortilla, Third Base, and a whole bunch of others. There’s Something for everybody.

All the information including directions and parking can be found on the Zilker Kite Festival website. Here are a few important things from the site to note:

Parking for Shuttle Riders

Free parking is available:

  • Downtown at the State parking lots at 1604 Colorado Street
  • South at the Toney Burger Activity Center at 3200 Jones Road

The shuttles come around regularly all day to these two parking lots for pick-up and drop-off. Round trip shuttle rides are $3 for persons 12 yrs and over. Well mannered dogs on leashes are allowed on the shuttles. Kids and dogs ride free. The first shuttle departs at 9:45 am and the last shuttle going to the park leaves at 2:30 pm. Shuttles will continue taking riders back to the parking lots until 5:30pm. No large coolers on the shuttles please, they are too big to fit (the shuttles are school buses). Kites are fine to bring on the bus!

Other Parking 

There is limited parking in Zilker Park. Please don’t come to the event with plans of parking in the park as the few spaces available will fill up quick and early in the day! Note: If the Kite Festival is postponed due to weather, there may be a fee to park at the Polo Fields. This would only occur if there is a postponement.

  • One Texas Center at 505 Barton Springs Road parking lot is available all day at no charge.
  • The Palmer Events Center (900 Barton Springs Road), depending upon their events schedule, may have parking available for the Kite Festival. There is a fee for that garage.

There you have it. Get there early, arrive late, get into the thick of the action, enjoy your time on the outskirts of the crowd. There are lots of reasons to go and lots of ways to have fun. You’re lucky to live in a city like Austin!