Have you ever driven down the coast and done a double take at the dragon flying alongside you? Or a school of flying fish? The beach is dotted this time of year with the bold, elaborate kites that fascinate and mesmerize as they move in the sky with the ever-present wind off the ocean. Of course, anyone who has flown a kite knows that you can have just as much fun with a stick and paper kite.
According to the experts at NASA the best way to learn about aerodynamics is to fly a kite. The Wright brothers were flying kites at Kitty Hawk, NC, long before they flew the first airplane. We all know that Benjamin Franklin had rather electrifying experience with kite flying.
The most fantastic and cutting-edge kites and kite flyers (or pilots) can be seen flying this week and weekend on the Long Beach Peninsula. Held the third week in August, the Washington State International Kite Festival is in full swing right now. View all events in the official program. If you head out to check out the festival, this festival event map will help you navigate the scene.
Thursday is the Handcrafted Comprehensive Competition. The morning starts at 9:30 a.m. with people flying their handcrafted arches, trains and centipedes. This inclusive event can be enjoyed by all ages and skill levels. Participants are judged in categories assigned by skill level: apprentice, journeyman or master. Other categories include traditional kites, innovative concepts and novelty kites. Are you up for the challenge to build the smallest kite? View the rules of competition and get more general kiting information from the American Kitefliers Association.
Finish the week with a bang and some of the best sights around at the Kite Festival Lighted Kite Flight and Fireworks on Friday, August 23. See the night kites illuminate the sky at 8 p.m. followed by fireworks at dusk.
It's no secret that we don't always have kite-flying weather here in the Pacific Northwest. Ever resilient and resourceful, we fly kites ... indoors! Thursday and Friday check out indoor kite flying at Long Beach Elementary School. Open gym for flyers goes from 5 to 6:15 p.m., and the competition starts at 7 p.m. It might be viewed as almost a dance as the flyers set their movements to music, an activity as much an art form as a sport.
Back at the World Kite Museum, you can join a hundred others and try to make history in the Mega Fly World Record Attempt on Friday at 12 p.m. Or come out for a brilliant spectacle when you fly your kite at the Parade of Colors on Saturday at 10:40 a.m. Everyone is welcome.
Fun events for the kids include Teddy Bear Drop at 12:00 p.m. After catching your teddy bear as it falls from the sky, head over to Field A for the Cody Fly (a Cody is a type of kite) at 12:30 p.m.; there kite fliers try to set a record of being the largest group to keep Cody kites in the air. The first 120 people to register receive a free Cody pin. There's also the Kite Fairy Meet and Greet at 1 p.m., and dressing up in costume for meeting the Fairy Godmother is encouraged! These events are all scheduled for Saturday afternoon.
You can directly support The World Kite Museum by attending the Auction and Tribute Saturday evening. The no-host bar opens at 5:30 p.m., and it's followed at 7 p.m. with a buffet dinner by Tokyo Teryaki.
The event concludes Sunday with a Memorial Fly at 10 a.m. to honor and remember those who have passed.
Be a spectator. Watch some of the best kite flyers in the world command an impressive menagerie of exciting kites. Join the fun. Make or bring your own kite, and partake in the friendly competition. It's sure to be a great time with much to see and do.
It's not just this peninsula that's bustling this week. Check out our North Oregon Coast Daytime Events calendar for all the events and activities happening everyday in Long Beach, WA, through Neskowin, OR. For evening entertainment, find theater performances, workshops, live music and other fascinating diversions on the Nightlife calendar. Go fly a kite! Drive safely, and have fun!
Photo Credits to EO Media