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Get Flying: National Kite Month Starts Saturday

National Kite Month kicks off—takes flight? gets off the ground?—on Saturday, opening with one of the nation’s most colorful kite events: the 3rd annual Blossom Kite Festival on the Washington Monument grounds in Washington, D.C., part of the National Cherry Blossom Festival.

To include a cluster of major kite fests in Chicago, Virginia and Minnesota in the designated celebration period, National Kite Month actually extends through the first weekend of May. That's A-OK with us. Bonus time for fun things is a fine idea.

You can scan a brief list of 2013 kites festivals below. Lots of others can be found on an event calendar maintained by the American Kitefliers Association.

kite-beach

Toeing the line: Some skilled kitefliers take a hands-off approach to their hobby.

In search of a cool kite? A nice selection from Prism Designs is available at REI.

Want to learn a few little-known facts about kites?

Kite zealot Steve Hall, a friend of the folks at Prism Designs, kindly provided some when we listed some early-season festivals at the start of the month, and he has shared a few more fascinating tidbits this time around:

•  World's smallest kite: 5mm high.
•  Largest kite, known as a megakite: 55 x 22 metres (180 x 72 feet).
•  Largest number of kites flown on a single line: 11,284.
•  Longest kite in the world: 3,394 feet.
•  Fastest kite: flown at 120 mph.
•  Highest single-line kite: 12,471 feet.
•  Longest kite fly: 180 hours.
•  Some Japanese kites weigh more than 2 tons.
•  The first powered aircraft were large box kites with motors fitted to them.
•  Kites were used in the American Civil War to deliver letters and newspapers.
•  In 1901 Guglielmo Marconi used a hexagon kite to transmit the first radio signals over the Atlantic.

kite-stowaway-parafoil

Above: The backpackable (8 oz.) Stowaway Parafoil kite. Higher: the PD Nexus.

A Brief Assortment of 2013 Kite Festivals

Dates
Location
Festival and Website
March 30
Washington, D.C.
Blossom Kite Festival
(Washington Monument grounds)
April 5-7
Perrin, Tex.
Cloud Buster Kite Fest
April 20
Wheaton, Ill.
Go Fly a Kite
May 4
Chicago
Chicago Kids and Kites Festival
May 4
Bloomington, Minn.
Kite Day
May 4-5
Virginia Beach, Va.
8th Annual Atlantic Coast Kite Festival
May 17-19
Grand Haven, Mich.
24th Annual Great Lakes Kite Festival
July 27-28
Berkeley, Calif.
Berkeley Kite Festival
Aug. 19-25
Long Beach, Wash.
Washington State International Kite Festival


For additional festivals, see the American Kitefliers Association calendar.

Posted on at 9:30 AM

Tagged: festival and kites

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