How ‘bout some pi? Kyle preparing for special spring event

With less than a month to go, the city of Kyle is trying to ramp up interest in its celebrations of National Pi Day — but it’s a delicate balancing act. The city that bills itself Texas’ capital of things baked in pastry shells is celebrating the imminent arrival of spring on a day that is the numerical representation of a mathematical constant, March 14.

Though the day’s schedule calls for “Pi recitations” at 3 p.m., that’s the only connection to math anyone need worry about. Other events lined up include eating and throwing pies.

It will all take place around the City Square in downtown Kyle from noon to 6 p.m., with the first “Pie in the Face Fundraiser” beginning at 12:30 p.m. and the final event, a Pie Eating Contest, at 5 p.m.

This is Kyle’s second celebration of National Pi Day. The city’s other big event, the Pie in the Sky Festival, occurs each September.

Both were on the minds of the city council during its meeting on Feb. 18 as council members and Mayor Travis Mitchell wrestled with the idea of forming an Arts, Culture and Special Events Task Force. Though no action was taken, the discussion was lively.

Should the group tackle all three subjects at once? Should it morph one day into a city board? How best to get local residents involved? And what’s the most comprehensive way to pay homage to local history and the ethnic diversity of the community?

Council member Tracy Scheel believes such special events should be widened to include more art and culture-themed activities. That, she says, would make festivals like Pie in the Sky the “absolute best” that they can be. Scheel is also of the opinion that the future of the planned task force might actually be an established city board.

Council member Alex Villalobos said a focus should be to “capitalize on the skill sets” available in the community. “We have a huge bank of experience in our city – hundreds of years of experience. This is an opportunity to capitalize on that as well.”

“Planning, creating and setting up events takes a team,” suggested Council member Robert Rizo. That and community awareness. “You’ve got to sell it to the residents first,” he said. “Get the buy-in from the community.”

Council member Michael Tobias also gave nod to homegrown talent. “I’d like to reach out to the artists that are here, get them more involved in showing their talent,” he said. “Pie in the Sky is a great starting point. As the year progresses we can start adding more Mexican American culture, more German culture – encourage them to be more a part of the city.”

The role of food in special events was also raised. Villalobos mentioned the Fajita Fest Kyle used to host. “That event went to Buda,” he said. “How did we ever let that go?”

Currently, Kyle’s special events are coordinated by Sarah Watson. “We embrace all things pi(e),” she said in how the two concepts are married. “Sweet, savory or the mathematical symbol.”

Watson said the pie in the face contests are intended as a way for community organizations to raise money. “They would have an hour time frame to invite whomever they like – council members, the chief of police,” she noted as examples.

The city’s National Pi Day event does not currently feature live music, but some undetermined vendors will be on site.

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