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October 21st, 2008
Kyle celebrates 128th birthday

The City of Kyle celebrated its birthday this past weekend with the annual Kyle Fair and Music Festival. The city’s largest celebration held at the downtown square in previous years was held at the Gregg/Clarke Park, just west of downtown Kyle on Highway 150.. A change of venue was made in order to accommodate the thousands who come to Kyle each year for the festivities.The Fair which ran from Friday the 17th through Sunday the 19th offered many activities and booths catering to people of all interests. There were more than 90 occupied booths this year, ranging from food and refreshment to crafts, and even a booth where a local writer, A.F. Ebbers, was conducting a book signing on Saturday.

Apart from the booths numerous other distractions, such as carnival rides and a rock climbing wall were available. Children and adults alike tested their mettle through attempts to reach the top.

Throughout the weekend many musicians took stage and performed to a combination of rapt fans and meandering passersby. On Friday the first act to play the festival was Matt Skinner of Austin, followed by Ram Herrera of Houston. Both crowd-pleasing shows went off without a hitch and with a lot of appreciation from local fans.

At noon on Saturday, after some welcome remarks, free cake, and the singing of Happy Birthday to Kyle, the music started back up with a group from San Marcos. Texas Renegade, who won the 2008 Texas Music Award’s Band of the Year, played a great show. Their set was followed up by Ricky Calmbach of Austin. That afternoon Matt Martindale of Amarillo took the stage, leading up to the Austin artists Ryan Turner and Kyle Park.. The headliner that night was Aaron Watson from Austin, who just released his 8th album back in April, and is fostering quite a following throughout central Texas.

“We’re lucky the weather stayed so nice for this,” commented Austin resident and fair-goer Daniel MacFarland. “It’s just a perfect day to be out here. It’s sunny and everyone seems really happy, and the music has been outstanding.”

Saturday, which was a great music in Kyle, featured many other festivities including a parade of locally conceived floats.

“It looked like a lot of planning went into this whole thing,” said MacFarland. “There are so many vendors and rides, not to mention bands. It’s really a great thing to be able to go to every year. The parade was pretty neat, but the music is really why we come. The whole atmosphere of the Fair just makes it that much better. We’re definitely coming out again next year.”

As soon as the Parade was through the carnival opened for business. At 11:15am there were school band performances that were originally scheduled to be followed by the Fort Hood 1st Calvary Horse Detachment’s demonstration, but that event was cancelled due to the military duties of the unit.

Early Sunday morning, one of the last events of the fair started when hundreds of locals assembled at the Wallace Middle School parking for the 5K run down Cypress Road and back. The course, known as the Kyle-O-Meter, has been used by the city before in other 5K events, and provides several elevation changes and some beautiful Central Texas scenery.

Concluding the weekend’s festivities was a Texas Hold ’em Tournament at the Train Depot at 3pm. A $20 donation to the Kyle Parks & Recreation Department allowed players to enter the tournament to get a taste of a real Poker Tournament. With all proceeds going to Kyle Youth Programs, and door prizes throughout the Tournament, this was a fitting end to the weekend’s festivities.

by Sarah Stevens

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