SHIP BOTTOM – Almost a hundred kites took flight on LBI this Columbus Day weekend. The 3rd Annual LBI Fly International Kite Festival came to Ship Bottom taking over of the skies of LBI. The blue skies were complimented by the delightful sea breeze and the distant ruffling sound of kites gracefully flying in the sky.
LBI Fly has been organized to bring the brilliant, colorful artist designed kites, giant inflatable kites and an amazing show of sport kiting all between the 3rd and 15th Street Beaches in Ship Bottom. Aside from just traditional kites there were sport kite demos, bol kite races, buggy kites, fly your own kite, kite flying lessons, nighttime illuminated kite flying performances by the Barnegat Lighthouse, and so much more. Coordinators also held several kid-friendly events, such as kids’ kite making, a high fliers’ art market and the KiteFest Bazaar in Bayview Park, 68th Street in Brant Beach.
The annual LBI Fly Festival was originally started in 2015 and invited over 30 different professional and international kite flyers to show off an arrangement of colorful and beautifully designed kites. This year marked one of the biggest turnouts they’ve seen so far here on Long Beach Island.
“The kite festival is fun for all ages and for families.” said event coordinator Lisa Willoughby.
“It’s all very colorful and not what we were expecting exploring the Island,” stated Jack and Donna from Allentown, PA. The couple, who were vacationing on LBI, stumbled across the event entirely by chance and were soon amazed by the magnitude of kites, their designs and the sheer beauty of it all.
“The event is very well run and worth coming down for,” said Fred and Donna Taylor, two professional kite enthusiasts from Port Colborne, Ontario, Canada. They enjoy kite flying whenever and wherever they can.
Both professional and amateur kite enthusiasts from all around the world came out to LBI to present their beautifully designed and custom kites. The event gave fliers and spectators alike the chance to meet with other kite enthusiasts. The kite festival is an international venue, hosting kiters from as far as Canada, Germany, France, Tasmania and so many other places from all around the world.
Robert Brasinjton, a professional kite designer and enthusiast from Tasmania, was there showing of an arrangement of custom kites. Brasinjton has been designing and flying these kites for over 25 years. His passion originally started with surfing and skateboarding, surprisingly enough. It was the movement, fast pace, artist design and idea that soon got him into professional kiting. These enthusiasts love to show off their beautiful creations to spectators and can be found at venues all around the world.
Maria Gyllespie, who insisted she was an amateur kite flyer, took the chance to display her kite designs and personal style. She said she originally got her start making quilts and soon transferred her quilt making designs to kites. She has been doing this for four years so far.
This year’s 3rd annual LBI Fly International Kite Festival had an amazing turnout. The beach was packed with people and kites alike. Kite flier and spectators are already geared up for next year.