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Smithsonian Kite Festival - Celebrating 100 Years of Flight

Smithsonian Kite Festival
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Smithsonian Kite Festival

Over 15,000 gathered to enjoy a beautiful spring day and participate in the Smithsonian Kite Festival held on the National Mall on Saturday, March 22, 2003. This year, the festival "Celebrated 100 Years of Flight" marking the anniversary of the Wright Brothers first air flights at Kitty Hawk. The Wright Brothers and others used kites for key scientific research and modelling in the process of developing their successful aircraft.

The Smithsonian Kite Festival is in its 37th year, making it one of the older celebrations of kiting. It is an event for all ages and features displays, demonstrations and competitions. For example there was a competition for handmade kites capable of flying at a minimum of 100 feet for at least one minute. Kites (which must be created by the participants) were judged on design, appearance, construction and performance. Prizes were given for categories such as Funniest, Best Asian Design, Beauty in Air and many more as well as for the kite that best interprets the festival theme.
Smithsonian Kite Festival
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Smithsonian Kite Festival
Representatives from kite organizations set up displays on the Mall where participants and spectators learned about kite making and kite flying. In addition. participants were treated to a traditional "Rokkaku" kite battle.

The Smithsonian Kite Festival is sponsored by The Smithsonian Associates and the National Air and Space Museum. Founded by aviation pioneer Paul E. Garber (1899-1992), the Festival is one of the most popular annual events held on the National Mall.

This year's sponsors were SMART Papers, Metro (Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority), 2000 Penn and the Mandarin Oriental, a new luxury Washington hotel opening Spring 2004. SMART Papers distributed over 5,000 mini kites to children who attended the festival's events.

More Festivals

Kite festivals are some of the more wonderous and colorful experiences that one can enjoy. To get a taste, go to the International Kite Travel Section of you'll find some good descriptions and interesting photos. Who know, it just might make you change your upcoming vacation plans.

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