The 10th annual Mile High Kite Festival is a free event taking place Sunday, September 2, in the meadow at the top of Beech Mountain next to the Brick Oven Pizzeria.
Festival attendees will fly kites at an altitude of one mile above sea level. It is sponsored by the Beech Mountain Chamber of Commercein conjunction with the Richmond Air Force Kite Club from Richmond, Virginia and the Wings Across Carolina Kiting and Okra Society from Charlotte.
Hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. There’s no charge for admission and free kites are given to the first 300 children 12 and under. Decorating help and materials will be available for the free kites. There will also be a vendor selling a variety of kites, and folks are welcome to bring their own.
Contest will be held for the biggest, smallest and best-decorated kite. All participants receive an official certificate from Beech Mountain Mayor Rick Owen that proclaims: “I flew a kite a mile high on Beech Mountain.”
Two members of the Richmond Air Force – Terry Murray and Will Smoot – serve as announcers for the festival, sharing their knowledge of kiting while playing kite-themed music throughout the day.
“This event has really gained in popularity the last few years, and a lot of families come up the mountain and make a weekend of it,” says Calder Smoot, the event organizer. “I can’t describe how colorful the sky becomes when filled with so many kites. It’s a sight to see.”
The meadow is divided into two areas: one for exhibitions/demonstrations from the kite clubs and one for the general public. Other activities include: races with kids pulling parachute kites, face painting, and variety of craft and food vendors. Parking $5 car.
Festivities for the Mile High Kite Festival weekend begin Saturday, September 1, with “sight to see” colorful kite demonstrations by the kite clubs from 1-4 p.m. and the Beech Mountain Annual Dog Show at the new Bark Park adjacent to the kite field from 1-4 p.m.
There’s also an all-ages street dance Saturday from 7-9 p.m. in front of town hall. The parking lot is covered with sand and a deejay plays a variety of family fun dance music.
For more information, call Beech Mountain Tourism Development Authority at 828-387-9283.