Musicians entertain the crowd at the 2012 Los Alamos Kite Festival. Courtesy/LAAC
Looking back at your childhood, what memories come to mind? Having family picnics at the park? Running through an open field with your friends? Gazing at the sky making shapes out of the clouds? How about attending the Los Alamos Kite Festival?
For the 16th year, the Los Alamos Arts Council presents the Los Alamos Kite Festival Friday, Saturday, and Sunday May 17-19 at the Soccer Field at Overlook Park in White Rock. Children of all ages are welcome to come and join the festivities. Whether you build a kite, fly a kite, enjoy a picnic with family and friends, or just take in the artful scene, this is a community tradition not to be missed.
Thanks to the generous funding from Los Alamos National Bank, the Kite Festival will continue to be a free event.
The Kite Festival weekend kicks off at 7 p.m. Friday with the Summer Concert Series, featuring the band What Made Milwaukee Famous. Kite artists will be on the field with their kites on display and a night kite fly demonstration will take place. In this event, small lights are attached to the kites before they are launched into the night sky. It is an amazing light show over White Rock.
The main festival is held noon to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. The day includes music, food, kite-building workshops for kids, and a lot of kite flying. Activities will include the traditional Candy Drop. A bag full of candy is launched on a giant kite ready to fly over the festival field. As children look up in anticipation and chase the kite along its flight path, the bag is split open and the candy falls from the sky.
Kite artists from all over the Southwest fly large kites, show their hand-made flying works of art, demonstrate stunt kite flying and grace the field with incredibly colorful banners. Free kite building workshops for kids will be held noon to 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Kids are invited to build and decorate simple kites with assistance from volunteers.
Kids use both their craft and artistic skills to put hundreds of these kites up in the sky over the two-day festival. For the younger children, pre-built kites are available to decorate. A free t-shirt is given to every child who builds or decorates a kite. Also available at the Kite Festival is the kite hospital staffed with kite medics to mend the inevitable broken and injured kites.
For those who do not wish to build a kite, a kite vendor will be at the festival with a selection of ready-to-fly kites for purchase. In addition, food vendors will be on hand to sell a tempting variety of food and drinks.
For more information about this event, or information on how to support this and other activities presented by the Los Alamos Arts Council, call the council at 505-663-0477. The Los Alamos Arts Council also sponsors the Brown Bag series at Fuller Lodge, the Missoula Children’s Theater, the Pumpkin Glow, the Guitars in the Lodge series, and two arts and crafts fairs.