Let's Go Fly a Kite (at the Brighton Kite Festival)09/07/2017
The Brighton Kite Festival has been going for years - this was the 39th in fact - and it’s a really fun outing for the kids. This year it ran on the 8-9th July and we went along on the Saturday when grey skies gave way to clear blue which was great for all the colourful kites billowing in the wind. The festival was free (yes, FREE!) with a £2 donation for the car park. There was plenty of things for the kids to do, plus an area where the pros were showing off their skills with the more upmarket kites.
Stanmer Park is off the A27 in Brighton but it’s always a bit tricky to get to because of a few crossroads you have to navigate. Just aim for Stony Mere Way which leads up to Stanmer House. The Kite Festival was in the fields near the entrance so it was easily spotted. There was ample parking in the fields beyond but people seemed to insist on pulling up on the verges along the road so it got clogged up quickly. It was only a couple of quid to park where you’re supposed to with a short stroll to the Festival.
The Kite Festival was split across two fields. The smaller one had the show area where they had a packed timetable with kites of all shapes and sizes. The most impressive were the stunt kites and the star attraction were the Flying Fish kiting team who put on a synchronised performance with a couple of kites swooshing along to Chariots of Fire - our little one’s head was bobbing around to take it all in.
That field also had a few fun fair attractions, bouncy castle, face painting and the all important ice cream van. Obviously these were charging money but when you’re out with kids paying for parking and ice cream are as certain as death and taxes. There were also a few portaloos.
When you’re out with kids paying for parking and ice cream are as certain as death and taxes.
The main field was more of a free-for-all where anyone wanting to fly a kite was welcome to. At the top of a big hill were all the super ginormous kites like a big Superman, Mr Incredible and a large Octopus with tentacles flapping in the wind. Anyone else was free to join in with their kite big or small.
Unfortunately we’ve got a long history of losing kites - either they break or get blown away when it’s too windy - but we took along our latest purchase. This one seemed to hover in the wind but never really took off, it might have been too heavy for the light wind that was blowing. Well, that’s my excuse, all the kids nearby probably thought our kite was just a bit rubbish while their ones soared majestically in the sky. We ended up buying a simple one from a stall and immediately that soared upwards. The kids had fun taking it in turns to hold it. They also made their own kites at another stall where they had loads of old plastic bags and cassette tape to fashion some pretty decent kites out of - they put our shop-bought one to shame.
In that field there were also some owls on display, plus refreshment stalls, even an area for wind powered musical instruments. It was a marvelous place to hang out, have a picnic and just take in the simple wonder of a kite flying through the air.