Well, it is the dawn of a new year. And even if we have A Full Calendar we are experiencing another worrisome COVID surge with corresponding restrictions, there is a ray sunshine. The apocalypse seems to be winding down and people are again making plans.

A Full Calendar means that kite festivals are being planned. So, you are a fan of road trips and kites, live in the Colorado River Valley and are a Tumbleweeds & Tarantulas customer, you will have a very full schedule for 2022.

In Fremont, California, the annual Kids ”n Kites Festival is scheduled for Saturday, May 14, 2022. It will take place from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Central Park meadow between Lake Elizabeth and Aqua Adventure water park. Admission is free and the first 3,000 children will receive free kites.

But the fun doesn’t end there. On the main stage a variety of live entertainment acts will perform throughout the day. There will also be booths with games and interactive activities, a supervised children’s playground, and food vendors.

Sponsored in part by Dale Hardware and Washington Township Medical Foundation, the event is being hosted by the Fremont Parks and Recreation Department. Depending on weather, Aqua Adventure with 40-foot waterslides, a 700-foot lazy river and a “little squirt” play area will offer a “preseason splash.” For more information, call (510) 494-4334, email regerec@fremont.gov or visitfremont.gov/kitefestival.

Of course the big event on the west coast in 2022 is the Washington State International Kite Festival in Long Beach, Washington. Held on the third full week of August, this mega event kicks off on Monday and runs through Sunday.

For kite enthusiasts this makes for a great vacation destination. Attendees travel from throughout the world to participate in kite flying contests, to demonstrate kite making skills, and to display kites. With thousands of people in attendance, this is the largest kite event in the United States. In fact it is billed as the largest event of its kind in North America.

And if you want something a bit more exotic consider the Festival de Barriletes Gigantes, or Giant Kite Festival, at the Sumpango Cemetery in Sumpango, Guatemala. The annual event takes place in October during All Saints’ Day on the Catholic calendar.

Promoted as the world’s most unique Día de Los Muertos celebrations, the festival often attracts more people than live in the village of Sumpango. The vent centers around fifty groups of enthusiasts that display larger-than-life kites during the day’s festivities. Most are made of paper adorned with colorful patterns or ancient cultural symbols that predate the arrival of the Spanish.

From the folk-art designs that date to the time of Maya to social messages, all age groups display kites. Children of all ages fly small versions of the larger than life sized kites flown by adults as well as teenagers’. Some of the largest kites often are more than sixty feet in length.

Adios 2021. Hello 2022. Let’s all fly a kit and celebrate!

Written by Jim Hinckley of Jim Hinckley’s America