Spring is here, and it’s time to get the kids out of the house to enjoy the milder weather before the summer heat blasts its way through. Like most of us, I’m always on the lookout for great community events (even better if they’re free), and the Fest of Tails is one of our yearly favorites.
I think I first stumbled across the event about five years ago—probably in the local paper. At the time my oldest son was eight, and my other three were about four, three, and one. Needless to say, venturing out to community events was a bit of an ordeal at the time. Diaper bags needed packing, snacks needed prepping, and everyone needed buckling up in the car. Add driving across town to find a park I’d never been to, then pushing a stroller through across a giant open field (strollers were not made for grass), then untangling kite strings over and over again…just thinking about it is enough to make me sweat.
But I liken these frazzled family outings to a day at the beach: it’s a huge ordeal, you end up with sand everywhere, and everyone takes turns having the inevitable meltdown, but when you look back just days and weeks later, you only remember the laughter and smiles on your kids’ faces. The sand sandwiches and sunburn become a distant memory, but the sense of joy in being there together remains.
So we’ve returned to the Fest of Tails year after year. It’s become easier—and more chaotic in ways—as the kids have gotten older. Now everyone wants their own kite and they aren’t so content to watch from the picnic blanket, but they no longer need me to hold the kites for them the entire time either. Rotating through and helping each kiddo get their kite in the air—at least for a few brief minutes—is quite the feat. But we mamas are masters of improv and have super powers when it comes to keeping everyone on board for the organized chaos of family excursions.
Back to the event at hand, the Fest of Tails is a yearly event featuring both dog and kite tails. Held in a large open field at McAllister Park, the day-long event includes professional and open-field kite flying, a dog contest and parade, live music, vendors, and food. You can bring your own kites or purchase them, or your kids can make their own in a children’s kite workshop.
There is limited parking and a shuttle service available within the park, but I highly recommend getting there early in the day. You’ll have a better chance at finding parking and are less likely to get sunburn (I’ve had my share of forgetting to put sunscreen on my kids before summer actually arrives).
We don’t have any dogs of our own, but we’ve always enjoyed the puppy watching as well. In years past, the library has had their bookmobile with free books for each kid who visits, the fire department usually brings a fire truck out, and they’ve even added hot air balloon rides into the mix. If you’re in town this Spring Break, this is a perfect event to get your family outdoors to soak up some fresh air and sunshine.
This year’s event is on Saturday, March 18th, from 9:00 A.M.–4:00 P.M. at McAllister Park.