LBI “Flies High” With 4th Annual Kite Festival

Photo by William Clanton

LONG BEACH ISLAND – Columbus Day weekend on Long Beach Island was filled with “high flying” fun as the 4th Annual International Kite Festival took to the skies over LBI.

The LBI FLY 4th Annual International Kite Festival featured colorful kites, flying giant inflatables and sport kiting show. The first LBY FLY International Kite Festival was held in October 2015 and had 32 invited kite fliers; however, many more kite fliers from across the United States, Tanzania, Germany, Columbia, and Canada now attend to celebrate the joy of kite flying. Many of these fliers are invited guests in prestigious festivals around the world.

Photo by William Clanton

The 2018 edition of the festival featured even more giant inflatable kites as large as a full-size whale, fairytale horses, giant octopuses, flying scuba divers, crabs, pigs, sea urchins, trilobites, flying witches, and a giant yellow duck.  The kids had a blast as the yellow duck kite came low enough to touch. Other children’s activities included a candy drop, walk through ground level kite train, and indoor kite show at the LBI grade school.

The large part of any kite festival is the sport kite displays. Teams and individual sport kite fliers flew choreographed musical routines throughout the weekend. The routines involve intricate movements that display amazing control of both four line and dual line sport kites that represent the music much like an ice skater. There was even a sport kite competition during the weekend. Fliers competed for points toward a national competition in various disciplines of sport kiting including precision routines, and musical routines for individual, pairs, and team flying. This competition puts the International LBI Fly festival on the east coast circuit for sports kiting in the United States.

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6 year old Caterina Maria of Waretown makes her way through the train kite. (Photo by William Clanton)

In this 4th year, the festival saw more unusual shapes and designs that dazzled island spectators. Beautifully designed and carefully built artist kites flew during the festival as well as displayed at local galleries prior to the festival. Many of these artists have won prestigious awards for art design quality, craftsmanship, and flying ability in competitions throughout the US and Europe.  LBI FLY also featured a night fly which was as much fun for the fliers as it was for the spectators. Sport kite teams flew in lighted formations as the single line kites remained stationary like brilliant stars in the sky.

For more information about LBI Fly, you can visit the website at lbifly.com.