The 44th Annual Smithsonian Kite Festival Celebrates the Craft of Kite Making

March 3, 2010
News Release

The 44th Annual Smithsonian Kite Festival will be held Saturday, March 27, on the grounds of the Washington Monument in Washington, D.C., from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. (rain date: March 28). This free, public event organized by The Smithsonian Associates and the National Air and Space Museum features handmade kite competitions, activity tents, demonstrations and kite displays.

This year’s festival will celebrate the art and craft of kite making. Spectators can participate in traditional craft and kite-making activities and learn about kite flying and the history of kites.

Featured every year is the handmade kite competition in which awards are given in categories for children, adults and master kite makers. Kites must be created by the participant and capable of flying at a minimum of 100 feet for at least one minute and will be judged on design, appearance, construction and performance. A special award is given for the kite that best interprets the festival theme. Teams may also compete in two exciting events: the traditional Rokkaku Challenge, in which flyers attempt to bring down their opponents’ kites, and the Hot Tricks Showdown, in which skilled kite flyers perform trick kite moves. Registration for all competitions will take place from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Children and adults are invited to fly noncompetition kites throughout the day. While participants are encouraged to bring their own kites, 1,000 free kites will be distributed to children on a first-come, first-served basis.

The 44th Annual Smithsonian Kite Festival is sponsored by the Smithsonian Women’s Committee, with additional support from the National Cherry Blossom Festival, Northrop Grumman, Revolution Kites, Host Hotels and Resorts and Family Magazine.

Founded by aviation pioneer Paul E. Garber (1899-1992), the Smithsonian Kite Festival features kite fliers from across the United States and around the world. The festival will take place on the grounds of the Washington Monument at 15th Street and Independence Avenue and is accessible from the Smithsonian or Federal Triangle Metro stations or Metrobus routes 30, 32, 34, 35 and 36. For more information, visit or call (202) 633-3030.

Schedule of Events

10 a.m.        Opening ceremony; registration
10:15 a.m.   Kite maker/master kite maker competition
Noon            Children’s competition
1 p.m.           Children’s award ceremony
2 p.m.           Hot Tricks Showdown
3 p.m.           Rokkaku Challenge; awards ceremony

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Media Only

Lauren Lyons

(202) 633-8614