Press release courtesy of Danielle Piacente, National Cherry Blossom Festival communications director
Washington, DC [March 4, 2013] –The National Cherry Blossom Festival presents the annual Blossom Kite Festival on Saturday, March 30 on the grounds of the Washington Monument (Constitution Avenue and 17th Street, NW) from 10:00am-4:30pm. The event is known as the kick-off to kite season, and there are five areas to explore and enjoy: the Competition & Demonstration Field, Kite Club Display Area, Activity Tents, Family Field, and Public Field.
On the Competition & Demonstration field (free registration required), experienced kite makers enter kites with the theme of “Spring Around the World,” showcasing cultural heritage, international kite traditions and international friendship. The Kite Makers Competition for adults has an added incentive to enter: the grand prize is roundtrip airfare for two on Turkish Airlines (terms and conditions may apply). The popular Rokkaku Battle and Hot Tricks Showdown are displays of kite flying showmanship. The Rokkaku Battle features hexagonal-shaped fighter kites commonly flown in Japan and now in many other parts of the world. In the Battle, teams of kite fliers compete to “cut” or “ground” opposing kites. The Hot Tricks Showdown is a competition in which multi-line kite fliers engage in a series of one-on-one competitions and maneuver their sport kites in amazing flight patterns during 30 seconds of music. The winners are selected by audience applause. Spectators are encouraged to show enthusiasm!
Youth competitions take place on the Family Field. Families can also get expert advice and practice new skills. In the Kite Club Display Area, master kite fliers and kite makers showcase their prized kites. This area is limited to invited individuals and clubs. Throughout the Activity Tents, children can make a kite with the West Indian-American Kite Association while supplies last, decorate a bookmark with the Festival Goodwill Ambassadors, and decorate a wind sock with the National Aquarium. In addition, receive lessons from experienced fliers and visit the Kite Doctor to repair a damaged or broken kite. All attendees are welcome on the Public Field, no registration is required. A custom kite arch constructed of 100 handmade small pink kites, organized by the Maryland Kite Society in 2012, provides a gorgeous focal point to open and close the day. The 2013 kite of the Blossom Kite Festival, featuring the work of official Festival artist Eric Abel, is also available to purchase at the event through Eastern National’s support.
The Blossom Kite Festival is produced by the Festival with the assistance of a Kite Advisory Committee. The event is supported by Turkish Airlines, The Washington Examiner, and media partner BIG 100.3. Additional support is provided by the American Kitefliers Association, Smithsonian Associates, Wings Over Washington Kite Club, and Maryland Kite Society.
The National Cherry Blossom Festival is the nation’s greatest springtime celebration. The 2013 Festival, March 20 – April 14, includes three spectacular weeks and four weekends of events featuring diverse and creative programming promoting traditional and contemporary arts and culture, natural beauty, and community spirit. The 2013 Festival commemorates the 101st anniversary of the gift of the cherry blossom trees and the enduring friendship between the United States and Japan.