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43rd Annual Smithsonian Kite Festival Set for March 28

Ingenuity Award 2008The 43rd Annual Smithsonian Kite Festival will be held Saturday, March 28, on the grounds of the Washington Monument in Washington, D.C., from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. (rain date: March 29). This free, public event organized by The Smithsonian Associates and the National Air and Space Museum features kite displays, demonstrations and handmade kite competitions.

This year's festival celebrates the power of wind through environmentally and thematically green kites. Participants are encouraged to create kites from renewable resources such as bamboo and recyclable goods such as paper and cloth. Special elements of this year's festivities include an exhibit tent, a wind-power demonstration and a special opening ceremony. Spectators can learn about kite flying and the history of kites through hands-on activities led by representatives from kite organizations.

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 Smithsonian Hot Tricks Showdown, which allows kite flyers to demonstrate their skills with trick kite moves. Registration for all competitions will take place from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Children and adults are welcome to fly noncompetition kites throughout the day.

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. For more information, visit kitefestival.org or call (202) 633-3030.

Image: Mike Mosman won the "Ingenuity" Award amongst Kitemakers and Master Kitemakers in 2008.


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