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The history behind Eeyore’s Birthday Party in Austin, TX

This weird Austin festivals celebrated the gloomy donkey from A.A. Milne’s “Winnie the Pooh” series.

birthday party

Eeyore’s Birthday Party has been a staple Austin tradition for nearly 60 years.

Photo By Sean Loyless [CC BY 2.0 ], via Wikimedia Commons

Thanks for noticin’, Austin. The beloved Eeyore’s Birthday Party will return to Pease District Park for its 59th celebration this Saturday, April 27. Yes, the Eeyore we’re talking about is the pessimistic, often-gloomy donkey seen in the “Winnie the Pooh” series.

So, why do Austinites come together to celebrate a fictional character at this free, day-long festival?

party

This is not an unusual scene at Eeyore’s Birthday Party. | Photo by Jack Newton , via Wikimedia Commons

The origins of this weird Austin tradition just might surprise you. It dates back to 1964 and was the brainchild of two UT Austin English students who needed a reason to skip school and enjoy the spring weather.

At the time, the students were studying A.A. Milne, the author of the original “Winnie the Pooh” series, and they thought of Eeyore, who they believed was always sad because someone forgot his birthday.

It was then decided they would reserve the last Friday in April to head out to Eastwoods Neighborhood Park to celebrate this uncelebrated donkey. As is tradition, the party is filled with drum circles, hula hooping, local vendors, strange dancing, and even stranger costumes.

Nearly 60 years later, this event continues to “Keep Austin Weird.” The park is even home to a bronze statue that commemorates its festivities. The party is known to attract thousands of Austinites every year for a good cause.

Eeyore’s Birthday Party is operated by the Friends of the Forest Foundation to benefit local nonprofits, including AGE of Central Texas, Blue Dog Rescue, Keep Austin Fed, and The VORTEX. All participating vendors are also nonprofits.

drum circle

If you plan to join this party, don’t miss out on dancing in a drum circle. | Photo by MarkScottAustinTX , via Wikimedia Commons

Eeyore’s Annual Birthday Party will take place Saturday, April 27 at Pease District Park located at 1100 Kingsbury St. from 11 a.m.-8 p.m. In the case of inclement weather, the rain date is scheduled for Saturday, May 4.

Before you get weird for a good cause, we suggest checking out these transportation options, including a free shuttle, and FAQs.

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