The Great Delaware Kite Festival, co-sponsored by the Lewes Chamber of Commerce and the Delaware Division of Parks and Recreation, takes place each year at Cape Henlopen State Park on Good Friday, which this year is April 15. The festival is celebrating its 54th anniversary.
Kite competition registrations begin at 10 a.m. with ample opportunity for kite contestants to practice in the fields adjacent to the competition area.
The Easter Bunny’s appearance is a longtime feature of the event that will continue again this year. An Easter egg hunt was added to the festivities eight years ago, and it will kick off the event at 11 a.m. This year, the hunt is sponsored by County Bank and includes 5,000 eggs filled with candy and toys.
The kite competitions for children and teens are scheduled to begin at 11:30 a.m., but could be sooner if the egg hunt is completed earlier. The highest kite competition follows at approximately 1 p.m. and is open to all ages. The prize ceremony for those competitions includes medallion awards sponsored by Lewes chamber members. Egg games for all ages follow immediately after the highest kite contest. The adult competitions will begin at approximately 2 p.m., interspersed with professional stunt kite flying demonstrations. The event concludes with the awards ceremony for the adult competitions. Note that times may vary according to weather conditions and the number of competitors.
All activities are free including the Easter egg hunt and the egg games. The hunt will be limited to children up to age 12, and the egg games are multigenerational. Pre-registration for the Easter egg hunt is not necessary, but participants are encouraged to arrive at the park earlier than the 11 a.m. scheduled start. Parking for the event is at the CHSP beach parking lot and time is required for transport to the event location.
The kite competitions are in three age categories: Children up to age 12, Teens 13-17, and Adults 18 and older. Within each age category, kite flyers are judged by the type of kite they are flying – homemade or store-bought. The Special Class awards include the Open Individual Ballet (free flight performance accompanied by music which the entrant provides), Individual Precision (compulsory figures including the Square, the Mount and Ladder Down, judged on technical execution), Most Senior Flyer, Youngest Flyer, Flyer Farthest From Home, Smallest Kite and Largest Kite. The Highest Kite Award category is open to all ages.
Entrance fees for vehicles are in effect and will be collected at the park entrance; cost is $5 per vehicle for Delaware license tags and $10 per car for out-of-state tags.
The Jolly Trolley will transport spectators at no cost between the competition field and the beach parking lot, and handicap parking is available at the Seaside Nature Center parking lot.
For those who have not made their own kites and want to participate, Kids’ Ketch and Rehoboth Toy & Kite Company will be on site selling a wide variety of kites, with space adjacent to the competition field to practice before competitions. There will also be food vendors, a face painter and community organizations set up surrounding the field.