Sunday, May 29, 2016

Great Lakes Kite Festival


I can’t remember where I heard about the Kite Festival in Grand Haven last weekend, but it sounded like fun so we made arrangements to meet our friends Dave and Lynn at the state park beach where it was being held.  They recommended getting there early, so we went to 9am mass, and met them just before 10:30 at the beach.

We set up our chairs at the edge of the demonstration area, and took a walk through the campground.

Campers on the beach

This is Lynn’s favorite beach and favorite campground – she loves having their motorhome backed up to the beach.  It is a great beach, but we’re not too crazy about the campsites.

Popular campground, but not our favorite










The sites are a little too tight for us, and probably too small for our motorhome, anyway.  Dave and Lynn have a couple of sites that they know they can fit on, and those are the only sites they’ll reserve.

This isn’t one of them!

Yep, this is a campsite

So, we’ll just stick with camping elsewhere and visiting the beach . . . because it is a really great beach!

From the campground, we walked out on the pier.

Grand Haven lighthouse

The lighthouse had recently been repainted, and it’s a bright, vibrant red.  On the way back, we could see that more kites were gathering at the beach – it was almost time for the demonstration teams to get started.

More kites flying on the beach

We picked up a few snacks and settled into our seats for the show.

Lynn, Dave and Tom

The roped-off area of the beach in from of us was where the demonstration teams took turned performing their routines.  They came from Michigan, Chicago, Canada, and as far away as California, and they were all really talented.

This team was called Chicago Fire.


Chicago Fire










They were really good at coordinating their kites, and even brought them in for a landing, which was really impressive.

Coming in for a landing

It actually wasn’t very windy at all last weekend (not at all like it’s been this weekend!), and we thought maybe it would be difficult for the kites to perform, but it was almost like they didn’t need the wind at all – I think they would have had a much harder time controlling them if it were really windy.

I didn’t get a picture of this guy’s kite, but I took several of him because he was so into it – he was really cool to watch . . . and he had good music, too!


This guy was really amazing

As we continued to watch the demonstration teams, the sky around us continued to fill with kites – the “giant kites” area was just to our right!


It seemed like every time I looked over there, there were new kites in the sky!

Lots of giant kites in the sky now











The last two teams we watched were our favorites of the day  They both flew “stacked” kites, which were multiple kites, all the same, linked together and controlled by a group of strings by one person.  This guy started out by himself,

8 stacked bowtie kites

but was soon joined by another guy with another set of stacked kites.


They were amazing to watch – we couldn’t believe they could get them so close together – even touching – without the strings getting tangled up!

These guys were incredible!

The last team we watched were the Windjammers – they were from the Detroit/Windsor area, and very good!  Their kites were smaller, traditional diamond shape, but each person had a stack of 12 . . . and they all had long tails, too!


They performed loops and flips, and even circles in the sky!


They were SO good --


and almost as interesting to watch as the kites themselves!

Amazing maneuvers

The highlight of the show for us










They were a great final act (for us anyway, the show was continuing until 5pm, but we we getting ready to leave), and the kites took a bow as they landed in the sand!


Taking a bow

We really enjoyed the show, and we sure were glad that Lynn suggested we arrive early . . . it was getting REALLY crowded as we made our way out of the state park parking lot and made our way to Culver’s for lunch before heading back to Silver Lake.  It was a great day with wonderful friends, and we’re looking forward to many more adventures in west Michigan!


  1. what a fun day!! thanks for sharing all the kite pictures!

  2. We apologize for missing this post.
    Looks like you and Tom had a great time.
    That is definitely something we'd like to see.
    Be Safe and Enjoy!

    It's about time.


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