Arts and Entertainment

Kites dominate the skies over Whidbey Island in September

The Whidbey Island Kite Festival and Sportkite Competition once again is set to fill the sky with colorful kites of all shapes and sizes on Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 24 and 25, at Camp Casey.

This year’s festival highlights the precision kite flying team Island Quad with members from British Columbia and Washington. The four-person team will be entertaining festival visitors with their awe inspiring interpretive performances while flying “Revolution” kites, each with four lines in a choreographed dance to music.

Brad Bixby, a long time Whidbey Island resident and former owner of the BookBay in Freeland, began flying with Island Quad two years ago and has since performed with them at kite festivals across the U.S. and Canada. Bixby was introduced to the “Rev” kite at the Whidbey Island Kite Festival five years ago and was captured by the amazing control flyers had with their quad-line kites.

With practice, Bixby mastered the techniques of the kite and was asked to join Island Quad as one of their core members. He can be found practicing at Fort Casey several times a week. “We are living proof that anyone can learn how to do this,” he said.

Team flying is especially well suited for the Rev kite and flyers gather together in groups as large as 64 kites to cross and wrap lines without getting them tangled.

The colorful festival will also feature sportkite competition in various dual and multi-line events, giant kites, kite lessons, a teddy bear drop and kitemaking for the kids and mass ascensions in which anyone may join in to fly their kites. All events are free and open to the public. For more information, visit whidbeykites.org.

 

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