Let's Go Fly a Kite: Hundreds Come out for Washington's Kite Festival

For the annual Blossom Kite Festival today on the National Mall the sun was out but the wind was not.

“It’s not quite windy and it’s really difficult,” Virdi Permena of Bethesda said as he tried to fly a kite with his son near the Washington monument today.

The annual festival, as part of the ongoing Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington, DC, brought out hundreds regardless of the flying conditions.

The wind did eventually pick up midday and brought hundreds of colorful kites into the air, littering the blue sky.

Kite enthusiasts competed for awards in over 36 categories including aerodynamic, beauty, box and funniest design. There was a “hot tricks” shootout, a stunt kite flying competition in which two kite fliers competed to see who could perform the most interesting tricks in a 30-second countdown.

Others brought hand-stitched and homemade kites to enter into the competition. Kite makers from up and down the East Coast, Japan and China participated.

But the day also brought out the novice kite fliers, like those in Ms. Jones’ second grade class at Francis Scott Key Elementary School. The students learned about kites and built their own in school this week.

Today served as the test run for the students, using festival as an extension of the classroom.

“We’re learning the different part of the kite, why they fly, how they fly, why they are so important in history – that is our main focus,” Teacher Meredith Jones said with her students down on the mall today.

And with the main event of the National Cherry Blossom festival – the Cherry Blossoms – still yet to bloom and delayed many turned to the kite day instead.

“One of the reasons we've never been to the kite festival before are the crowds. The cherry blossom crowds are awful. Makes me not want to come downtown with the kids,” Sherri Kuck of Washington, DC said today, “So it’s okay for us that we don't see cherry blossoms in bloom. We're having a great time."

And with or without wind, or blossoms, everyone was just happy to enjoy a little sunshine outside.

““It is fun to see all these people – and then after long time we come outside,” Gangab Chabive of Herndon, Virginia said today while flying a kite with his family, “it is warm at least.”