Let’s Go Fly a Kite: The Zilker Kite Festival


Spring is in the air. Which means that in Austin this weekend, kites will be too! The Zilker Kite Festival is one of Austin’s favorite springtime events. Usually held the first Sunday in March, this year’s festival was postponed due to the unseasonably cold weather, and will take place this Sunday, March 9th. The event is free and open to the public and is a great springtime activity for the whole family. Because, honestly, who doesn’t love kites?

Zilker Kite Festival

Photo courtesy of the Austin American-Statesman

In its 85th year, the Zilker Kite Festival (originally called the “Kite Tournament”) was created by The Exchange Club of Austin in 1929 with the mission of encouraging creativity in children. In 1936, The Exchange Club partnered with the City of Austin Parks and Recreation Department to bring the event to newly-opened Zilker Park, which is still the home for the annual event.

The festival continues to be presented by The Exchange Club of Austin, which is an all-volunteer organization dedicated to the prevention of child abuse. The group encourages good citizenship, community service, and uses the Zilker Kite Festival as a way to bring attention to the mission of the nonprofit. To find out more about The Exchange Club, visit The Exchange Club of Austin website.

Zilker Kite Festival

Photo courtesy of the Downtown Austin Alliance

The Kite Festival begins at 10 a.m., and at 11 the Kite Making workshop, registration for the kite contest and kite flying demonstrations by professional fliers begin. The afternoon of fun continues with the kite contest launching at 1 p.m., and hours of free-range flying. Categories for the kite contest include: highest angle kite, steadiest kite, strongest pulling kites, smallest kite, most unusual kite, largest kite and mass kite ascent.

The festival will host several booths for food, crafts and other services. Check out the entire list, which includes local Austin favorites such as Amy’s Ice Creams, Daily Juice, Hat Creek Burgers and more. The vendors will be open for the entirety of the Zilker Kite Festival, so when all that kite flying activity wipes you out, nutritious local Austin food can revive your energy levels for many more hours of kite-flying fun!

Prepare for the Zilker Kite Festival by buying or creating your own special kite and viewing the map of the park for the event.  More information can be found on the festival’s Facebook page and on their website. The festival accepts volunteers for the event and donations to continue the growth of the event and the associated nonprofit. So check it out – and let’s go fly a kite! Up to the highest heights!

You knew it was coming at some point, didn’t you?

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Plum Creek Introduces Local Public Art Initiative + Front Porch Days, May 4-5


Chicago had its cows. Austin had its guitars. And Kyle – we’re getting rocking chairs.

Plum Creek, TX

This summer, Plum Creek is launching a public art initiative similar to the Cow Parade of Chicago and Guitar Town up in Austin called “Rock the Porch” that will manifest in the creation of 15 artistic rocking chairs that will be placed in the public spaces of Plum Creek and within the greater Kyle community. We’re looking for people, groups, organizations and artists from around Plum Creek, Kyle and Hays County to participate in creating these innovative public art pieces to beautify and enhance the neighborhood and the greater Kyle community. They’ll be placed in high traffic areas in the neighborhood such as the Plum Creek dog park, the Community Center, the pools, and around the city of Kyle, like in front of the library, City Hall and Lake Kyle.

These won’t be ordinary rocking chairs, though. We want them to be creative, innovative and thought provoking. Something worth talking about. Think something like a fur-covered chair placed at the Plum Creek dog park, or one that looks more like a children’s playscape than an actual chair. Or one that is completely reassembled and upside down! Do you have some creative ideas for a unique, sculptural rocking chair? We’d love to see what you’ve got! We’re accepting applications from local individuals, artists, groups and organizations. Just fill out the below application, and email kelsey@lookthinkmake.com to submit, or if you have any questions or feedback.

Rock the Porch Artist Application – Applications are due by May 15th so there’s plenty of time to get involved!

Plum Creek, TX

The temporary public art exhibition is designed to provoke thoughts of what it means to be a neighbor, to be neighborly and to inspire conversation among people. We picked rocking chairs as the symbol because it encapsulates what Plum Creek is all about: a friendly place where you can sit outside on the front porch, watching the fun and activity of the neighborhood with a neighbor or a friend, rocking to the beat of the passing breeze and enjoying life. Plus, they’re practical – offering you a place to sit while you watch your dog in the dog park, or after you’ve picked up your favorite book from the Kyle library.

Plum Creek is launching “Rock the Porch” at our annual Front Porch Days next weekend May 4th and 5th. At Front Porch Days, we’ll have an rocking chair on display to inspire and get people excited about the initiative. It’ll be a weird example that embodies the kind of creativity and fun we’re expecting from the public art initiative. We’ll also have applications available at the booth, the opportunity for you to nominate your creative friends, and for you to submit ideas for chair locations in Plum Creek and Kyle.

We didn’t want to leave the kids of Plum Creek out of the rocking chair fun either. So, we’ll have a number of fun crafts at our Front Porch Days booth for the kiddos of Plum Creek and Kyle to enjoy. Kid-sized rocking chairs will be available for families to purchase and decorate with paint, glitter and more, as well as little clay pots and bird houses for decorating as well. We’re donating all the money we raise from these items to Kyle nonprofit Hope & Love 4 Kids.

Plum Creek, TX

Hope & Love is a local children’s nonprofit that serves kids in and around Hays County. Founded in 2006, they provide basic necessities to children in the community, and comfort and uplift them in their time of need through services and outreach. Their programs include school supply drives, Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners, the Angel Tree program during the holidays, the Hendricks Scholarship Foundation which awards three different types of scholarships to Hays County students, and more.

So, bring some cash and those creative juices to Front Porch Days, and don’t forget to stop by our booth to learn more about “Rock the Porch.” We think this is a wonderful opportunity for Plum Creek to become even more involved in the greater Kyle community, and it’s the perfect way to showcase the creativity and talent of Kyle-area artists.

And if you have some ideas for a creative rocking chair, APPLY! We want as many different people and perspectives involved. So show us what you’ve got. Fill out the below application and email it to kelsey@lookthinkmake.com. Email if you have questions or would like more information as well.

Rock the Porch Artist Application

Renaissance fun in Central Texas: The Sherwood Forest Faire (February 9 – March 31)


Plum Creek, Texas

Photo courtesy of Pixtus

This February and March, the 4th annual Sherwood Forest Faire returns to Central Texas for eight weeks of Renaissance fun in Bastrop’s beautiful Lost Pines. Every weekend from February 9th until the end of March, the medieval festival brings great food, medieval entertainment and over 150 merchant shops to Central Texas for families to appreciate and enjoy. The eight-week extravaganza features something for everyone, so children and adults alike can experience and enjoy a simulation of what life was like in the olden days, without a time machine or a trip across the globe.

A wide array of Renaissance-related, European food items are available at the faire, and food booths range from The Golden Conquistador (Mexican food), to The Greek Agora (Mediterranean food),  to Merlin’s Favorites and much more. A wide selection of vegetarian food items are available at the Sherwood Forest Faire as well. Special food-related events are available at the Sherwood Forest Faire this year as well, including a Wine Tasting and a multi-course, authentic Renaissance feast, which are both available with an RSVP and an additional charge.

Plum Creek, Texas

The Wine Tasting is officially called “Tasting Wine with Madame Ghislaine,” who is a French midwife and wine connoisseur who gives an exclusive look at some carefully selected wines from around the world. The tasting accommodates up to 24 guests, and will last an hour and fifteen minutes. Tickets to the wine tasting are available on a first-come, first-served basis, and the tasting is only at the Faire for a limited time, so if you’re interested, check it out now. Robin’s Feast is the other food-related event at the Sherwood Faire this year, and is a five-course, all you can drink extravaganza complete with music and dancing. Each feast-goer receives a soup course, several meat and veggie courses in succession and dessert. Tickets for Robin’s Feast are a little more expensive, but the “all you can drink” caveat makes it worth it. Again, tickets and times are limited, so do some research if Robin’s Feast tickles your fancy.

In addition to food, Sherwood Forest Faire offers more than 150 places to shop and enjoy yourself. Shop offerings range from medieval novelties, to clothes items, to jewelry, to leatherwork, musical instruments, weaponry, and more. Local artists and craftspeople are predominately featured at the festival, so remember that you’re supporting the local economy. Plus, who doesn’t want a bow and arrow, or some authentic Reniassance-type candles?

Renaissance_Fairs_Sherwood_Forest_Faire_Armorer

Photo courtesy of The Austinot

The main draw of the Sherwood Forest Faire, though, is the entertainment. Each week, the Faire releases a new performance lineup, which includes musical acts, magic shows, chess matches, dog shows, dance performances, jousts and more. There are over 20 performance spaces and stages, so you can plan your day to a tee and catch all the medieval entertainment you can muster. Most events are family-friendly, too, so you don’t have to worry about little eyes being offended or scared. The Sherwood Forest Faire even has its own cast of characters and performers listed online so you can see what kinds of peoples and costumes are in store for your weekend of Renaissance fun.

SherwoodForestFaire.com has much more information available about the festival, so if you’re interested in checking it out this month or next, meander on over to their webpage and see other events and entertainment that are available at the Faire. And remember, this is an authentic Renaissance experience, so costumes are encouraged. And we all know you’ve been waiting for an excuse to bust out that elf or troll costume since college. Perfect right?

Sherwood_Forest_Faire_Parade

Photo courtesy of Faire Freak