Don’t be surprised if you look up at Brenton Point this weekend and see a school of tropical fish or a tiger flying through the sky.
The free event promises two days of spectacular ocean views and kite demonstrations, lessons and games for the whole family. Synchronized kite ballets choreographed to music and kite demos, such as Sport Kites, Fighter Kites and Power Kites will all be a part of the program.
“This is an event for families to go, picnic or buy lunch together there, bring their kites or buy new ones there,” said event organizer Ron Kitt, of on Thames Street in Newport. “It’s an opportunity to enjoy your family without having to spend any money.”
Kitt, who has organized the festival since 2009, said kite-flying clubs from across the Northeast get involved to put on a sky show that will dazzle viewers. The Newport Kite Festival is one of a kind in Rhode Island.
Face painting, kite giveaways, a moon bounce, matchbox car races and teachers from Kite Tails Play Center in North Kingstown will also add to the fun this weekend.
“Kids tend to really get a kick out of it because when they see a kite as big as a bus or whale or other creature in the sky, it’s kind of a different thing,” said Kitt.
Kitt said it’s hard to track the numbers that the Newport Kite Festival attracts to the area, but brought in thousands and was the largest yet.
Kite clubs from around the Northeast, such as the New York Kite Enthusiasts (NYKE), Connectikiters and Kites Over New England (KONE), display information as well as many unique kites. Kitt’s local shop, Kitt Kites, is the sole vendor at the festival.
Traditionally, the festival is held on the second weekend of July. High Flyers Flight Co. organized the event from 1992 to 2005, followed by Jamestown Kites in 2007. Even on years with no official event organized, the skies at Brenton Point were still alive with hundreds of kites – proof the enduring energy of the kite festival, states the festival website.
Each year, the festival is organized by the kite vendor and Kitt estimated it costs him about $8,000 annually to put on the free event.