The Washington State International Kite Festival takes place in Long Beach, Wash., every year during the third week in August. It is both a celebration and a competition with people coming from all over the world to participate either flying kites or spectating, or both. It is said that the Long Beach event is “the greatest, grandest kite festival in North America.”
When we attended the festival a few years ago, the weather was cloudy and chilly, and we missed having blue skies as a backdrop to the colorful kites, but it did not distract from the excitement and beauty of the kites, and it certainly did not inhibit spectators from coming. Participants arrived in their Volkswagens and other vans, claimed their space in the designated parking location, and essentially set up shop with their chairs, tents, decorative flags and, in some cases, their pets. That area was almost as fun to peruse as the kites in flight. And of course, there was a long row of food and souvenir vendors.
Each day of the kite festival had a theme and a schedule of activities, including workshops and competitions. The beach was divided into numbered fields where different events ttook place, with the largest area reserved for the large kites not part of the scheduled events.
Our first day at the festival was Kids’ Day, which explained the songs we were hearing. Twenty-four kite makers from around the country produced approximately 200 small kites which were given to children at no cost. Dozens of volunteers serving as “foster grandparents” were paired up with the children and their kites to help them learn to fly. Some of the volunteers were dressed in creative costumes. Games and contests are held for kids as they develop their own love for the sport. Some of the children were really into their kites, and some were not. But the volunteers were patient and did their best to engage each and every child.
Washington State Kite Festival Highlights
- 1500 Creative Kites
- Professional Kite Flying
- Kite Making
- Kiddie Camps
- Indoor Kite Flying
- Fireworks Display
Originally started in 1996 Washington State International kite festival has gone from strength to strength and is now a full week long.
As this event is the home of the world Kite Museum, it is something of a tradition or pilgrimage to attend Washington State International Kite Festival.
If must you go to Washington State Kite Festival
Where: The Washington State International Kite Festival takes place in Long Beach, Wash. Long Beach is a little over a three-hour drive from the Seattle area.
When: The 2023 kite festival is happening Aug. 21–27.
Lodging and visitor info: Visit Long Beach Peninsula.
Need to know
WSIKF is a week-long kite celebration and competition held annually during the third full week of August.
Did you know?
The festival has been held annually since 1996.
Where is the Washington State Kite Festival?
Which festival is known as Kite Festival?
Why is the kite festival celebrated?
Which country has the biggest kite festival?
What do kites symbolize?