Ōtaki Beach
From 10am Saturday-Sunday February 28 and March


10am: Kites flying in beach kite zone south of surf club. 11am–noon: Rokkaku business house kite challenge, north end of kite zone.

Noon-4pm: Display of show kites continues; stunt kite displays; spot prizes for kids and families (Saturday).

4pm: Fuse Circus on stage. 5-5.30pm: Close down.
Note: Times might vary as kite flying depends on weather conditions, especially breeze.

F_FE15_Kitemaking-workshopFestival draws international kite experts

THE Ōtaki Kite Festival has become an international event, with flyers this year arriving from Australia and Germany.

From Australia are Brisbane’s Tony Rice (who returns after enjoying last year’s festival) and Robert Brasington of Tasmania.

Both are not only accomplished flyers, but also designers and artists whose work is recognised around the world. Tony is to hold a workshop on Thursday, February 26, at the surf club showing participants how to create a Japanese hishi kite. All materials are provided and the result will be a kite to treasure for a lifetime (see below right for details).

A kite-flying couple visiting from Germany will also be joining the record number of show kites registered for the weekend on Ōtaki Beach.

World-renowned kite makers Peter Lynn Kites will again be a feature of the spectacular show kites. Last year they brought the big black whale and a range of other fantastical creatures; this year they promise to return with some favourites and a new range of the big kites that have wowed the crowds in the past.

Demonstrations of stunt kites are always popular, as the experts get their kites to dip and dive with a familiar whir – sometimes two kites being operated by one flyer.

Several local business houses will compete in the Rokkaku challenge at 11am each day. There will be a big range of stalls, spot prizes for the kids and adults (Saturday), and Fuse Circus will round off each day’s entertainment (see below left).

Organiser Barbara Franks says it will be a great weekend of free fun for the whole family. “Bring a deck chair, maybe a kite to fly yourself, and enjoy,” she says.

The event is organised by the Ōtaki Promotions Group with assistance from Ōtaki Street Scene.