SHIP BOTTOM – Go fly a kite! The sky will soon be filled with everything from full-sized whales, crabs and sea creatures, flying witches, giant octopuses and yellow ducks, fairy tale horses and flying scuba divers.
The LBI FLY International Kite Festival is returning for its 3rd year and promises to be bigger and better than ever, with local and professional kiters from Australia, Germany, Canada and the U.S. ready to fly their artistic, inflatable and 3D kites on Long Beach Island and demonstrate sport kite flying techniques.
Kite festivals are notorious for their sport kite flying displays, where fliers will set their kites to choreographed musical routines, similar to ice skating. Celebrity fliers at LBI FLY are adept at flying their kites in zero wind conditions, and can instead get their kites to lift off by continuously moving.
“We will have at least ten national champion kite fliers on our beaches for the festival this year,” said Lisa Willoughby, LBI FLY Kite Ambassador and Master Level Sport Kite Pilot, who coordinated the professional kite flyers for this year’s event. They include Australian Robert Brasington, an international kite designer; west coast-based national kite champion Scott Weider, and several local kite fliers from South Jersey.
The event takes place over four days on Ship Bottom beaches from October 6 to 9 and features an Indoor Fly Competition, Bol Kite Racing, a Main Field for Giant 3D Kites, an Art Market and Bazaar, an Illuminated Night Fly and Buggy Kite Rides for Kids. Spectators are welcome to watch the days’ events for free, but nighttime events, such as the Indoor Fly Competition and Barnegat Light Night Fly, cost $2 per person.
The Illuminated Night Fly features sport kite teams flying kites in lighted formations to music, this year including spectators racing with the kites, using kites to drop candy for kids, blow bubbles, and a friendly battle of the kites.
“This was my first year involved in the Kite Festival,” said Event Director Calla Aniski of planning the event. “I was welcomed into a team that consists of a handful of wonderfully committed individuals who have been working on fine-tuning this event for years. We would not have such a beautiful and expansive event without these people.”
For more information and a full schedule of events, visit lbifly.com.