The first weekend of November, the skies above the Fort Fisher Recreational Center in Fort Fisher, North Carolina, become a magical kite fantasy land. This year marked the 11th Annual Cape Fear Kite Festival. Kite fliers from all over the United States gather on the beach to wow guests with their wide variety of kites. Kites ranged from animals, sea creatures, mythical creatures and so much more.
The festival has become a must-see free event for people of all ages. It is a two-day event that lasts all day. The only thing that keeps the kites from flying is mother nature. When the winds are not at maximum performance, the fliers bring out bubbles for the kids to play through.
According to Joyce King, an avid kite flier from Maryland, the perfect wind speeds are from 10-15 mph. Also, the winds off the water are the cleanest and most direct air path. Joyce and her husband Jeff have only missed two festivals during the eleven years. Once was because their house caught on fire and the other was because Jeff’s grandmother passed away. The Kings became involved in kite flying after their son graduated high school. They wanted to find something that they both enjoyed and could do together. They enjoy hanging out with the other fliers, and they spend time together during the kite season and after. They are members of Wings over Washington Kite Club.
On average, there are twelve to fifteen festivals per year. There is an indoor festival at the Air & Space Museum in Washington, DC in March and in July there is the Wright Brothers Festival at Kitty Hawk, NC. They travel all over for the festivals, but the Cape Fear is their favorite.
The kites range in price. Joyce special ordered a whale shark that is over forty feet long. The price for the shark was $5,000. Most of the kites are made out of rip-stop nylon and made by Peter Lind from New Zealand.
During the off-season, they spend their time making new kite sticks or repairing their kites. The Cape Fear Festival marks the unofficial end of the flying season.
Make sure to mark your calendars for next year’s event. You will not want to miss it.
If you would like additional information, please visit kite.org or www.wowkiteclub.com