Public Media for Central Pennsylvania
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Is your name Kyle? There's a gathering you may want to know about


If your name is Kyle, a festival tomorrow in Kyle, Texas, has your name written all over it. On Saturday, the city hopes to break the Guinness World Record for the largest gathering of people with the same first name. Maya Fawaz of member station KUT reports on the small city with a big mission.

MAYA FAWAZ, BYLINE: Kyle Lawrence lives in Los Angeles. When he heard about the gathering of the Kyles, he knew he had to go. Kyle is flying from LA to Austin, Texas, and from there, he's driving south to Kyle to hopefully be among thousands of others who share his first name.

KYLE LAWRENCE: I mean, what better excuse than to, like, meet other people with the best first name in the world?

FAWAZ: The current Guinness World record belongs to Kupres, Bosnia and Herzegovina, where 2,325 people named Ivan gathered in July of 2017. I asked Travis Mitchell, the mayor of Kyle, Texas, what he thinks about people named Ivan.

TRAVIS MITCHELL: (Laughter) Not as cool as Kyle. Let's just say that.

FAWAZ: The Kyle gathering started as a joke with a few dozen Kyles participating in a group photo. Now it's part of a larger weekend-long festival that has live music, food and several contests for the best margarita, fajitas and ribs. Those named Kyle get a free T-shirt that says, my name is Kyle. And last year, Mayor Mitchell notes, they got closer than ever before to beating the world record.

MITCHELL: There are some girls named Kyle. There were Kyles from 49 out of the 50 states. We had many different countries represented, people coming in from overseas. I mean, it was quite the spectacle. I'll have to admit.

FAWAZ: Rachel Sonnier is with the city of Kyle. She's been organizing these gatherings for several years now, so she's seen lots of Kyles in her lifetime, definitely more than the average person. And she's noticed one thing they all have in common, enthusiasm.

RACHEL SONNIER: They looked like they were always having fun, even when they were just waiting for the drone to take the photo. They are a fun group of people, and they are very enthusiastic and a good time.

FAWAZ: Kyle Lawrence is excited to meet Kyles from all over the world, and he warns, Kyles he's met seem to like to start trouble.

LAWRENCE: So I hope the local authorities are on standby (laughter). But nothing crazy or dangerous, just people being stupid.

FAWAZ: Kyle Davis attended last year's gathering after hearing about it through a friend.

KYLE DAVIS: Living in Austin, I felt like it was my duty as a Kyle to go and represent and at least check it out.

FAWAZ: He says, he enjoyed seeing all the diversity in the name Kyle.

DAVIS: There's no one type of Kyle. They come in all shapes and sizes and backgrounds and colors and hair and genders and everything.

FAWAZ: Davis says, he went to the gathering wondering if there would be shared personality traits among people with his namesake. He felt confident there were none.

For NPR News, I'm Maya Fawaz in Austin, Texas.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC) Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by an NPR contractor. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.

Maya Fawaz
[Copyright 2024 KUT 90.5]