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SPOTLIGHT REPORT


Austinites ring in spring each year at Eeyore's birthday party


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Photo: Eeyore's Birthday
Photo: Eeyore's Birthday

Photo: Eeyore's BirthdayEeyore's Birthday Party, now in its 41st year, is the way Austin celebrates the coming of spring.

"It's where people come out of the doldrums from the cold, wet winter, and it's springtime in austin, everything's in bloom and it's all new, and thus, everybody's ready to get out and do something fun," says Eeyore's Birthday volunteer Kevin Rollins.

Photo: Eeyore's BirthdayEeyore's Birthday started when University of Texas student Lloyd W. Birdwell, Jr. found an excuse to have a big spring party. Inspired by one of A. A. Milne's Winnie the Pooh stories, the friends and their guests gathered with honey sandwiches, a garbage can filled with lemonade, a May pole, and a donkey with flowers draped around his neck to celebrate spring time. The event has since become an Austin tradition and is held every year at Pease Park, with costume contests, relay races, face painting, and other events for adults and children.

"It's an Austin event because it brings the old Austin to the new Austin, and so a lot of people who have been in Austin for a long time come to the event, but then a lot of people who are new to Austin also come to the event," says Snow White, an Eeyore's Birthday volunteer.

Photo: Eeyore's BirthdayEeyore's Birthday has also grown into something that benefits the Austin community. Though the event itself is free, sales from the concession stands benefit local non-profit organizations.

"For us to be able to throw a party and be able to get all these beautiful souls to come out and help other beautiful souls," says Rollins. "It's just this symbiotic relationship that's really hard to put words to, but it's just a beautiful love thing. It touches your soul. It's just a great, great thing."

 

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Produced by Elena Ramirez.

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