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'This is what Austin is about' | Inside the creative hub that is Eeyore's Birthday Party

For nearly six decades, Eeyore's Birthday Party has served as a place where creative Austinites can get together and express themselves.

AUSTIN, Texas — On Saturday, April 29, the 58th Annual Eeyore's Birthday Party event will kick off in Austin's Pease District Park.

Not much will be new at this year's festival – and that's exactly the way many people would like to keep it.

Ciara Blossom marches to the beat of her own drum. She loves making music, especially with a group.

"I'm a drummer. To the depths of my soul," she said with a laugh.

That's why Eeyore's Birthday is one of her favorite events in Austin. She has been going for 16 years.

"When I was 17 years old, I dressed like a fairy. I went and I played drums all day long," she said.

The event serves as a place where creative people like Blossom can get together and express themselves.

'It really creates what Austin is known for, which is being a cultural hub of creativity," Blossom said.

That's what the festival has embodied for nearly six decades.

Eeyore's Birthday began in the 1960s, when a group of University of Texas at Austin students wanted to throw a spring party for the famous donkey character from Winnie The Pooh, who thought his friends forgot his birthday.

"And so when asked why, they said, 'Well, it's Eeyore's birthday. Let's cheer him up,'" said Mark Boyden, president of the Friends of the Forest Foundation.

And so they did – with a maypole dance and beer.

Boyden and his friends started celebrating Eeyore's Birthday in the '80s.

"That was a load of fun," he said. "It was like nothing I'd ever seen before."

Now Boyden helps organize the festival every year.

The event is bigger now, but the relaxed atmosphere hasn't changed. There's a little bit of everything for everyone. 

"We have tattoos, we have henna, we have pasties," Boyden said, adding, "You'll see a lot of people wandering around in costumes, see a lot of people sitting together, having fun. You'll see the jugglers, you'll see the acrobats."

While Austin is juggling a lot of changes right now, longtime fans of Eeyore's Birthday hope it stays the same for years to come.

"Everyone moving around, just being beautiful without any worries – this is what Austin is about. This is what makes Austin Austin," one attendee said.

"You can just feel it when you're there. It becomes a heart," Blossom said.

Whether you're a longtime drummer like Blossom or someone brand new to Austin, anyone can attend the event to make sure Eeyore's birthday isn't forgotten.

This year's event runs from 11 a.m. until 8 p.m. at Pease District Park, located at 1100 Kingsbury St. There's no parking at the park, but a shuttle will run from state garages E and J, near the Texas State Capitol.

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