kite fest (2)

For nearly 30 years Don Dixon, owner of Kites Unlimited, has been organizing Carolina Kite Fest. He waits to have the event until after the tourist season is over and the beach crowds have dwindled. Once the fall breeze rolls in, it’s time to go fly a kite.

This year the event will be held on Oct. 24-25. Unlike other festivals, Carolina Kite Fest has no vendors and doesn’t sell anything. All Dixon wants you to do is come out and participate. When he decided 26 years ago to plan the first Kite Fest, he did it in appreciation of his customers.

“It was a thank you to our customers,” he said. “It is a participation event centered on flying kites.”

Don’t be fooled – just because there won’t be vendors does not mean there’s nothing to do at this event. There will be a kite building event for kids in the morning, something the festival includes every year. A night fly is also on the books this year on Saturday night.

The Play Sail and the large kites, some around the size of a yellow school bus, will return for the festivities this year. There isn’t a set schedule for these ascensions, however, shared Dixon, it’s entirely up to the wind.

He does try to plan activities a few hours in advance based on the weather. There will be a chalkboard at the festival that will be used to display upcoming events throughout the day.

Whether you come as a participant to fly a kite on the sand or as a spectator to watch from the boardwalk, Carolina Kite Fest is a fun event for all and a traditional sign of all along Eastern North Carolina. Come out to beachfront at the Sands Villa Resort in Atlantic Beach (1400 E. Fort Macon Road) on Oct. 24-25. The festival runs from 10am-4pm on both days. Just look for the colors in the sky and you’ll know you’re at the right spot.

Be sure to take a camera, kite or both and watch these kites speckle the sky with color, size and creativity. For more information, call Kites Unlimited at 252-247-7011 or visit

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