Coming To A Town, kite stores such as Tumbleweeds & Tarantulas are opening in towns large and small as the popularity of kites is on an upswing. Still, pardon the pun, to a large degree the sport of kiting flies under the radar even though there are some major events that garner international media attention. Of course the exception would be in communities that host events which in turn bolster the economy with tourism dollars.
One of the most photogenic kite events in America is held each March on the National Mall with the Washington Monument serving as a backdrop. Held in conjunction with the National Cherry Blossom Festival, this event is a true spectacle that leaves spectators and participants in awe. If you are a kite enthusiast this is a festival that should not be missed as professionals and novices test their skills through a variety of competitions and demonstrations such as Rokkaku Battles and the Hot Tricks Showdown. It is a family centered event and there is even an activity station where children are instructed on how to make a kite.
Coming to a town on the west coast premier events is the Summer Kite Festival that takes place each June in Lincoln City, Oregon. Held on the beach at the D River State Recreation Site, the annual two day festival has evolved into a favored family vacation tradition for residents in the Pacific Northwest. In 2019 the festival featured trick performances by professional kite fliers, sand races while strapped to a parachute kite, a children’s workshop where instructions are given on the manufacture of paper kites, and a kite parade on the beach. For more information contact the Lincoln City Cultural Center, 540 NE Hwy 101, Lincoln City, Oregon or telephone 541-994-3302.
And if you prefer something a bit closer to home and live in the center of the country there is a the fun and unique Callaway Kite Flight in diminutive Callaway, Nebraska that celebrated its 29th season in 2019. The event highlights the popularity of kite flying as participants travel from throughout the United States as well as from Europe and Asia to participate in this festival in a town with a population of less than 1,000 people.
The festival is held at the end of August on a vast prairie four miles southeast of Callaway on Highway 40 at a place known locally as Foster Smith Field. As with most events that center on kites, there are displays of skills put on by professionals, and just simple fun as hobbyists, families and children sail their kites on the breeze.
Recent additions to the festival include a night flight and indoor flight display at the Callaway Community Center. And as the festival centers on family fun there are other activities including pony rides, watermelon feeds, candy drops, giveaways, food vendors, and the “big caterpillar” ground kite. In an interview after the 2019 festival Chairperson Kindle Rice noted that there was something for everyone, and fellow committee member Shirley Trout said that the weekend was a wonderful opportunity for people of all ages to experience the joy of flying a kite.
Fall is the perfect time to discover the joy and fun of kite flying. Stop by Tumbleweeds & Tarantulas today and let our knowledgeable staff get you started.
Written by Jim Hinckley of Jim Hinckley’s America