Kiters to hit the beach

Kiters to hit the beach

The first-ever Kenai Kite Festival will be held at the Kenai North Beach from noon to 2 p.m.

This Saturday, Kenai residents should keep an eye on the skies — not for birds, or planes, or even Superman, but for kites. The first-ever Kenai Kite Festival, organized by the City of Kenai, will be held at the Kenai North Beach via Spruce Street from noon to 2 p.m. Residents can bring their own kites or come to the Kenai Library on Friday from 3 to 5 p.m. to make a diamond kite for free out of materials donated by Spenard Builders Supply. On Saturday, the first 50 kids to arrive will receive free kites donated by Walmart as well as free Kite Festival T-shirts.

The idea for the festival was sparked by Kenai Library Director Mary Jo Joiner about three months ago during a planning meeting with other city officials.

“We were trying to come up with a way to highlight the fact that Kenai has a beach,” Joiner said. “And all of sudden the thought occurred to me — let’s fly kites!”

Members from Alaskiters, a kite-flying club based in Anchorage, will be coming down to help build kites on Friday as well as give demonstrations for the crowd Saturday afternoon. Joiner said that if the event is successful, the organizers will include competitions and workshops in the future.

During the planning for the event, the organizers hit an unexpected snag in their line — getting FAA approval to fly the kites in an occupied airspace. Joiner said it was a bit of a hurdle and caused some delay in finalizing the event. Joiner and the others did eventually get the approval, so the kites are cleared for takeoff.

For anyone who will not be on Kenai North Beach Saturday, there are a few spots in town that will offer a good view of the kites in the air: Erik Hansen Scout Park, Meeks trailhead, the Bridge Access Viewing Platform and Kenai South Beach.

For more information about the Kite Building Workshop on Friday or the Kite Festival on Saturday call the Kenai Library at 907-283-4378.

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