Tapestry of shapes and colors to fill sky on ‘Go Fly a Kite Day!'

The Berks County Parks and Recreation Department and the Sky Pilots Kite Club join forces for the springtime tradition of kite flying, kite making and kite contests at the 27th annual “Go Fly a Kite! Day” set for Sunday, April 27, from noon to 5 p.m. at the Youth Recreation Facility, 1098 County Road, Bern Township. The event is held in tandem with National Kite Month.

All ages and levels of kite-flying enthusiasts will display their colorful creations in the air and on the ground. Professional kiters will gather with their homemade creations, to display around the field in hopes of capturing the “Field of Colors” display. They will be demonstrating their kite flying abilities and creations through the day, on the Contest and Demonstration field, and later vying for the professional kite awards around 4 p.m. Kites made from newspaper have their own special category and contest at 3 p.m. These kites are made at home, almost entirely from newspaper, except for the sticks and strings to fly the kite, and can range in size and creativity. This is a great kite project for the whole family.

For children, the festival sponsors a sled kite workshop, where kids can create their own design on their sled kite shell. Volunteers will help assemble the kite which then may be flown around the festival grounds and in the sled kite contests starting at 3:20 p.m.

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Contest registration begins at noon, and contest judging begins at 3 p.m. Between contests, watch members of the Sky Pilots Kite Club and other featured fliers take the field to demonstrate different types of homemade kites and their skills in the air and on the ground. John and Tracy Guldin will demonstration stunt kite flying and offer instruction through the day on the Contest and Demonstration field.

New this year is the “Kite Art Exhibit” tent. Hours upon hundreds of hours are spent designing and making these fantastic kite creations. The unique craftsmanship is often lost to the viewer when the kites are in the air. Stop by the tent to view these beautiful kites. Participants may kites to add to the exhibit.

Other attractions will be on site in addition to the kites. The Lehigh Valley Zoo will present its “Birds of Prey” program between 12:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. featuring 30-minute explanations and visits with the zoo’s birds of prey between shows. Learn how these beautiful raptors inspired kite making and how kites mimic the birds’ flight patterns.

Steve Esser of Bloomin’ Balloon hot air balloon rides, Kutztown, will talk about and inflate his hot-air balloon to show how these marvels of the air work. However, no rides will be offered.

The Berks County Amateur Astronomy Society will have equipment on hand to do solar observations and will provide night sky viewing information.

Additional entertainment on site will include pony rides, face painting and more! Concessions will be available.

Attendees may bring their own kites, create a sled kite or visit kite vendor, Lebo’s Pedal Parlor, located near the food vendors. If your kite needs some nursing, stop by the “Kite Hospital” on the main field where kite surgeons can help get that kite back in the air!

This event is presented by the Berks County Parks and Recreation Department. Activities are free with a parking donation. Due to the close proximity of the Reading Regional Airport, all kite flying is restricted to 350 feet from the ground.

The Berks County Youth Recreation Facility is located at 1098 County Road in Bern Township across from the Berks West Vo-tech Center. For more information or directions, call 610.374.2944 or visit www.countyofberks.com/parks.

“Go Fly A Kite! Day” Schedule of Events

Throughout the Day:

Kite Contest Registration

Sled Kite workshop

“All About Kites” Show, Carl “The Kiteman” Leisey

Hot Air Balloon demos by Bloomin’ Balloon, Kutztown

Lehigh Valley Zoo “Birds of Prey” (12:30-3:30 p.m.)

Solar Observation, Berks County Amateur Astronomy Society

1:15 p.m. - Kite Safety Program by John and Tracy Guldin

3 p.m. - Newspaper Kite Contest

3:20-4 p.m. - Children’s Sled Kite Contests, Ages 12 & under

4 p.m. - Homemade Kite Contests for Adults and Youth

4:30 p.m. - Special Awards Presentation