Festivals & Events

20 Best Kite Festivals in America – State by State Guide.

Washington Kite Festivals U.S.A Kite festivals
Written by Town & Tourist

Kite festivals have recently seen a surge in popularity in the U.S.A. They are an Awe-Inspiring fun packed event, which is great for the entire family.

The wonderful colors, shapes and kite designs are food for the eyes and magical to everyone from kids to adults! It also should be mentioned the great skill, passion and design which goes into flying these large kites and putting together the kite festivals.

I have a tremendous respect for the organisers of kite festivals  and must have nerves of steel knowing the events are so reliant upon the weather. But as long as the wind blows, there will be magical kites and shapes floating into the sky!

Similar to Hot air Balloons, See this great article on Albuquerque Hot Air Balloon Festival: 20 Golden reasons why you should visit.

However, kite festivals have there own charm and magic, so at town and tourist we have put together the top 20 kite festivals in the U.S.A, for your pleasure!

From Americas largest Kite Festivals such as Washington International Kite Festival and Wildwoods international Kite Festival, New Jersey to the longest running kite festival in the U.S.A, such as ABC Kite Festival, Texas. 

1. Washington State International Kite Festival

The Washington State International Kite Festival held every year in the Third weekend of August at the Long Beach Peninsula, Washington, home of the World Kite Museum.

This kite festival extravaganza attracts over 100,o00 people annually! Originally started in 1996 Washington State International kite festival has gone from strength to strength and is now a full week long.

The Kite festival brings the best and most skilful kite flyers international kite flyers in one place.

As this event is the home of the world Kite Museum, it is something of a tradition or pilgrimage to attend Washington State International Kite Festival. It was voted best in the world out of all the kite festivals by the Kite Trade association.

Washington State International Kite Festival. Photo by: Jason Taellious flickr

So whats so special about this kite festival? Well…expect to see over 1500 creatively designed kites from the best international kite creators. Also spectators can bring there own kites and participate in the fun!

It’s a true well choreographed event, which is great for families. There is plenty to keep the kids occupied from Kite making, kiddie camps, indoor kite flying and a spectacular fireworks display which will leave you in awe.

Washington State Kite Festival

Washington State Kite Festival. Photo by William Bigelis, flickr

2. Frank Mots International Kite Festival, Wisconsin.

An event which attracts approximately 60,000 avid spectators annually, since its inception back in 1978. Run on the First weekend after Labor Day, in September, this is a true feel good event.

With 600 kites taking to the sky’s during their grand launch you will be “blown away” by the electricity in the air over the two day kite festival.

Kites are flown by popular teams such as the Chicago Fire Kite Team to Gift of Wings, gigantic kites. In addition, to the hosting of kite filled activities also hope to see live music and talent shows, with previous contestants from Americas got talent putting on a show for the crowd.

Photo by Joe Hardenbrook, via Hive miner. Flickr

Where is the Kite Festival?

Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Veteran’s Park

Coordinated by the Kite Society of Wisconsin and Illinois with Gift of Wings

3. ABC Zilker Annual Kite Festival, Texas.

Bringing around 30,000 people together every year in March, the ABC Kite Festival is one of the most beloved, community and family friendly traditions in the whole of Austin, Texas.

Founded all the way back in 1929, from just a basic kite flying contest, as a way to help boost creativity in children, it is now has the award of being longest running continuously operating of all the kite festivals in the U.S.A and maybe even the world!

This long running family event as deep roots and a good heart, run by Friends of the ABC Kite Fest a Non profit organisation), this event is free to attend and includes a vast array activities to keep the kids busy!

zilker-kite-festival texas

zilker-kite-festival Photo by: austinsocialplanner.com

Great family friendly activities include, kite flying contest, a fun run, a children’s music concert, kite making and even a “Pet Zone” which give pet owners and their furry friends the perfect place within the park to enjoy the festival together.

Including a host of dog friendly activities from a swimming pool, ramps, jumps, tunnels and even a puppy playground.

The best part about this festival is all proceeds are  gifted to communities in Schools of Central Texas and the Moss Pieratt Foundation…told you it would make you feel good!

Other things to see in Austin include the Austin Zoo, Animal Sanctuary and Children’s Museum.

zilka kite festival texas

zilka kite festival texas Photograph: Photo by Austin CVB/Bruce Lemons

Where is the Kite Festival?

Zilker Park, Austin, Texas,U.S.A

4. Berkeley Kite Festival, California

Started back in 1986, the Berkeley Kite Festival  is a free fun packed family kite festival held annually at Cesar E. Chavez Park at the northern end of the Berkeley Marina, San Francisco Bay.

This event is summer spectacular using held in late July. The perfect place for a young family, with plenty to do and a real sense of magic in the air. Activities include bounce houses, pony rides, face painting and even a petting zoo!

Also a highlight I really liked when I was there with my family was the candy being dropped from the kites as they flew over…this was really fun for the kids as they chased it!

The kite festival is also quite education, with kite flying lessons and kite making…all for free! For the adults, me and the wife took advantage of the discounted dining yacht (the Empress Hornblower) & evening meal cruise on the San Francisco bay…definitely a highlight.

Berkley Kite festival Worlds longest octopus kite

Worlds longest octopus kite, flying at Berkley Kite festival. Photo by Flickr. (Bay Area, San Francisco)

In terms of majestic and grand kites, this is definitely up there. Featuring the worlds largest octopus kite and other gigantic creature kites taking to the sky…these are brought all the way from New Zealand! It is truly mind boggling to see such crazy stuff flying in the sky, you will find yourself thinking…is this real?

Berkeley Kite Festival

Berkeley Kite Festival . Photo by 501families.com

But wait there is more, Berkeley kite festival also hosts a range manufacturer showcases and even the highly coveted West coast kite championship!  Also is the world renowned Japanese-Style Rokkaku Kite battles and even a synchronized kite ballet for those more sophisticated. 

While in the Bay Area, be sure to check out other great attractions including, Oakland Zoo, Red Wood Park, Fishermans wharf and Golden Gate Park.

5. Wildwoods International Kite Festival, New Jersey

Held in late may every year Wildwood International Kite Festival is widely considered to be one of the largest Kite Festivals in the U.S.A. 

Held over the Memorial Day weekend, Wildwood is showcase for gigantic kites, skilful kite fliers. The strong winds of Jersey beach make it a challenge even for the experienced kite fliers. Highlights of this kite festival include: kite flying competitions, Kite workshops and even auction of kites.

Wildwoods International kite festival, New Jersey

Wildwoods International kite festival, New Jersey

Where is the Kite Festival?

Wildwood, New Jersey, U.S.A

For more information see Wildwoods International Kite Festival 

6. Color the Wind, Iowa

Started in 2001, this relative newbie on the scene of kite flying attracts approximately 7500 spectators annually.
 
It is now the largest Winter kite festival in the Midwest, held on the frozen waters of a 3600-acre lake, definitely a unique location for a kite festival.
 
An Iowa sweetheart, this is a real close knit affair but still attracts people from all states including Maine, California, Arkansas, Georgia, Texas, Oklahoma, Utah, North Carolina, New York, Connecticut, Colorado, according to the event organisers.
 
They even made it onto CBS News, which really boosted their popularity and continuous improvement of the kite festival. Usually ran on the third Saturday, of every February…this is a kite festival with a winter chill but a warm heart. 
Color of wind kite festival

Color of wind kite festival. Photo by colorthrwind.org

Where is the Kite Festival?

Clear Lake, Iowa, USA

 

7. Huntington Beach Kite Party, California.

This is a real event aimed at professional kite flyers and avid hobbyists who really wish to hone their skills. A great event and a great place to learn from the international pros if your  want to get into kiting or improve your skills. Usually ran annually in early-mid march. 

Huntington Beach Kite Party, California.

Huntington Beach Kite Party, California. Photo by kiteparty.com

Where is the kite festival?

Huntington Beach, California

For more see Huntington Beach Kite Party

8. Blossom Kite Festival, Washington DC

Part of the Cherry Blossom Festival held annually in Washington DC, the Blossom Kite Festival  is one of the most popular events in Washington DC and definitely one of top kite festivals in the U.S.A.

This kite festival attracts international kite flyers and a vast array of competitive competitions and events.

In addition, the kite festival offers cool activities for children such as kite making and decorating. Another FREE event, this is a great Washington DC delight! Held on the last Saturday of March or first Saturday of April every year. 

Blossom Kite festival Washington D.C

Blossom Kite festival Washington D.C Photo by: Hillel Steinberg 

Fun Fact: This kite festival was originally called Smithsonian Kite Festival and started back in the spring of 1967.

White-House-Cherry-Blossom-Kite-Festival-in-Washington-DC

White House Cherry Blossom Kite Festival in Washington-DC Photo by:

Where is the Kite Festival?

Held at: National Mall, Washington DC, U.S.A

What else: The Cherry Blossom Festival (March 20-April 12, 2015) has other free fantastic kid-friendly events, including a parade and fireworks. You can also take the kids to the National Zoo, the National Children’s Museum, the National Air and Space Museum, Glen Echo Park, Discovery Theater, and Six Flags America.

Blossom Kite Festival in Washington DC 

Blossom Kite Festival in Washington DC Photo by Mr.tinDC

9. Kite Fest Louisiane, Louisiana.

A Louisiana sweetheart this free showcase brings over 10,000 people each year and is unique to Louisiana, it has been voted top festival in Louisiana many years running.

This festival includes everything from kite making and kite flying to unique evening kite flights with LED cladded kites taking to the skies. For the kids, this kite festival includes a few candy dropping kites…for those with a sweet tooth. Held Annually at the end of march/early April.

Other things to see while in Louisiana include, Mississippi River, Baton Rouge zoo, Cajun Lagoon, Jambalaya park and Cat Island national wildlife refugee.

Kite Fest Louisiane

Kite Fest Louisiane Photo by Louisianatravel.com

Where is the Kite Festival?

West Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Check out Kite Fest Louisiane for more info.

10. Lincoln City Fall Kite Festival, Oregon

Lincoln City, on the central Oregon coast is a place blessed with the perfect wind conditions for flying kites. Located on the beach annually in early October, this kite festival is full of surprises offering a different theme every year.

Expect to see a majestic array of gigantic and colorful kites, including professional flying showcases and a host of family packed entertainment.

For the kids, this kite festival offers everything from a kids kite parade to kite making and even special kids passports…which is pretty unique. While in Lincoln feel free to try out other activities such as Kayaking, surfing and even kite boarding.

Lincoln City Fall Kite Festival in Oregon Lincoln City Fall Kite Festival in Oregon (Flickr: OCVA)

Where is the Kite Festival?

Lincoln City Beach, Oregon

11. Kids and Kites Festival, Chicago.

Kids and Kites Festival in Chicago is a free, international event and magnetises kite enthusiasts from all over the world. In addition, it’s a great family event with face painting, arts and crafts and even free kits given out so kids can design their own kites. Held annually in early may.

kids kites festival chicago

kids kites festival Chicago Photo by 312area.com

Where is the Kite Festival?

Montrose Harbor, Chicago, Illinois, U.S.A

For more info check out Kids and Kites Festival

12. Cleveland Kite Festival, Ohio.

Cleveland Kite Festival  is run by the Ohio Society for the Elevation of Kites which was founded back in 1977 by a group of kite enthusiasts.

Although the club structure remains informal, they elect officers to organize and oversee activities.

Their main goal is to inspire new kite flyers, share ideas, experience, building, knowledge and flying tips, and to have fun! Members from this organisation range from eight to eighty-five.

The actual kite festival which they organise is held in late April and includes activities such as Kiting Wind Sprints for adults and children with each child receiving a participation award.

A performance kite team showcase by “Windjammers” who will offer an array of stunning routines.

A Mystery Kite Ballet, where ballet routines are performed to music, and then judged by 5 judges. This Kite festival also includes the famous Japanese Rokkaku kites who battle it out in a fighting showcase for supremacy in the sky.

Cleveland Kite Festival

Cleveland Kite Festival, Photo by: ClevelandScene.com

Where is the Kite festival?

Edgewater Park
6500 Memorial Shoreway (Rt. 2) Cleveland
Ohio 44102, U.S.A

13. Great Lakes Kite Festival, Michigan

Great Lakes Kite Festival  is held annually at Grand Haven State Park Beach is a fun packed family event. Including activities such as Kite Ballet, Kite flying competitions (Teams, individuals), a Kids fun area, evening LED Kite flights, indoor kite flying and even kite boarding on lake Michigan!

This kite festival also offers a great opportunity to camp out at Grand Haven State Park, this can be really fun in the spring/summer. The Kite festival, which originally started back in 1989 has even received recognition from the Mayor for such a long standing and great event.

Great Lakes Kite Festival in Grand Haven, Michigan

Great Lakes Kite Festival in Grand Haven, Michigan on the beaches of Lake Michigan. Photo by: Brandon C, Flickr

Where is the Kite Festival?

Grand Haven, Michigan, U.S.A

While in Michigan definitely check out the World’s Largest Outdoor Kite Store equip with the best in new kite flying gear, and the nearby world’s largest Musical Fountain which offers evening performances in the summer.

A useful tip is to hop on the Harbor trolley which travels through the Tri-cities area and makes it easy to check out different restaurants and shops.

Great lakes Kite festival Michigan

One of the kites at the Great Lakes Kite Festival in Grand Haven Michigan, this one rotated around all day long! Photo by Jeff Rozema. Flickr

14. Kites over lake, Michigan 

Held along lake Michigan, over the labor day weekend in August. Of all the kite festivals, this is the largest summer kite fest in the Midwest, attracting over 30,000 people every year.

Highlights include, a variety of gigantic & creative kits, stunt teams, Kite Ballet and host of activities for the kids such as free kite making.

As the evening comes, it get even more fun will a mass release of enchanting sky lanterns, a spectacular fireworks show.

You can purchase sky lanterns at the beach or UFO (Only bio degradable lanterns are sold. Started back in 2006, this kite festival has gone from strength to strength.

Kites Over Lake Michigan, Two Rivers, Wisconsin

Kites Over Lake Michigan, Two Rivers, Wisconsin. Photo by: Lester Public Library

Where is the Kite Festival?

Lake Michigan, Michigan, U.S.A

15. Windless Kite Festival, Washington.

If your worried about having the right weather for Kite flying, but still want to hone your skills, network with other kite enthusiasts or even just see some skilful displays. Then this is the Kite Festival for you, started back in 2001, this is the longest running indoor kiting event in the U.S.A.

This indoor kite festival usually has no wind, no fans, just pure kites and motion for fun. This event also includes kite workshops, kite flying lessons, competitions and demos. Held over the weekend in late January.

Indoor kite festival Washington

Windless Kite festival, Washington. Photo by: .canoncitydailyrecord.com/

Where is the Kite Festival?

Long Beach School Gymnasium,  Long Beach, Washington, U.S.A

16. Rogallo Kite Festival, North Carolina.

Held every year in early-mid June, this popular North Carolina kite festival has been running since 1982! Started as a way of honoring the NASA scientist and inventor of the flexible wing (Francis Rogallo) .

This is the same technology used by many of the stunt kites today in the U.S.A. Highlights of this kite festival include, kite making and a vast array of quirky kites including a 100 foot octopus and even a giant 80 foot scuba diver!

Rogallo Kite Festival

Rogallo Kite Festival. Photo by Rogallo Kite Festival.

Where is the Kite Festival?

Jockey’s Ridge State Park, Nags Head, North Carolina, U.S.A

For more info see Rogallo Kite Festival 

17. San Francisco Family Day Kite Festival

Ran annually in early June, this day long event has a theatrical and stunning backdrop perfect for kiting…the golden gate Bridge.

This free event is great for families and includes contests, kite making, aerial acrobatics and even an award ceremony for the most fantastic and hilarious kites on offer.

San Francisco Kite Festival

San Francisco Kite Festival

Where is the Kite Festival?

San Francisco, California

For more info see San Francisco Family Day Kite Festival.

18. Kite Days Festival at Haulover Park, Florida

Stand in awe as you will see the sky in fill with a colorful array of wonderful kites! Hundreds of kites in in Haulover Park. Including a 100 foot flying squid, a monster rainbow stingray, a 30 foot flying scuba man and even a gigantic monster cuttlefish.

Hosted by Miami-Dade Parks and Skyward Kites. This is a great family event expect to see, face painters, clowns, live music and arts.  Food & refreshments are available from South Florida’s favorite food trucks. For more info see Kite Days Festival

Kite Days Festival at Haulover Park, Florida.

Kite Days Festival at Haulover Park, Florida.

Bonus – 2 great ones from Canada.

19. Brampton Kite Festival, Canada

Started back in 2014, this Eco friendly Kite Festival, is a true celebration of Canadian multiculturalism. Held in early June every year in Brampton (Greater Toronto).

This kite festival is truly family oriented & celebrates diversity. Here you will have the opportunity to take part in a detailed master class from the expert kite flyers who will show you how to fly gigantic 100 foot kites! 

Also expect to indulge in a variety of great food, live music and entertainment. The entertainment follows a multicultural theme with a mix of local talent to Neeva Bollywood Dance Academy. 

Brampton Kite Festival

Brampton Kite Festival, Photo by bramptonguardian.com

Where is the Kite Festival?

Heart Lake Conservation Area, Brampton, Great Toronto, Canada.

20. Windscape Kite Festival, Canada.

This kite festival has been going for over 10 years now, held every year in late June. This kite festival attracts international and even celebrity kite flyers! Here you can see some stunning kite trains, large creature kites and even fighter and stunt kites.

Sponsored by SaskPower this fun packed event also offers a bubble station, balloon sculpting, a straw bale maze, a “Flying Dragon” booth, face-painting and popular Kite Building Workshops, where everyone can create a custom made kite.

With the help of skilled volunteers, suitable for both children & adults. Here you can construct a simple sled or bird-shaped kite guaranteed to fly!

Overall, This is one of the most popular kite events in Canada and a true great kite festival for the whole family. For more info see. WindscapeKiteFestival

wind scape kite festival Canada

Photo by: windscapekitefestival.ca

So there you have it a full list of the top Kite festivals, across the U.S.A, with a cheeky bonus two from Canada thrown in! So if this article has put some wind in your sails. Share with your friends on facebook or Pinterest! 

About the author

Town & Tourist

A travel resource guide that has been carefully crafted and curated by travel bloggers to help you find the best places to travel to in the USA.