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Great Lakes Kite Festival- May 16, 17 & 18, 2014Save next year's dates!
May 16 & 17, 2015

26th Annual
Great Lakes
Kite Festival



At the State Park in
Grand Haven, Michigan
May 16, 17 & 18, 2014


Schedule of Events


Friday, May 16, 2014
7 p.m. - 8 p.m. - Indoor Fly at the Lakeshore Middle School gym
         Note: This is a different location from previous years.


Saturday, May 17, 2014
10 a.m. - 5 p.m. - Kite Festival at the Grand Haven State Park beach


Sunday, May 18, 2014
11 a.m. - 5 p.m. - Kite Festival at the Grand Haven State Park beach


All events are subject to change due to wind and weather conditions. The giant kites will be in the air all day, wind permitting. Our main demonstration field will have new and different kite performances throughout the day on Saturday and Sunday.


Kites flying at the Great Lakes Kite Festival

Featured Events:



Main Performance Field with incredible kite ballets - Performances running continuously Saturday and Sunday. Watch some of the world's best kite flyers look like the Blue Angels flying to music. Individuals, pairs and teams.

World's Largest Outdoor Kite Store - See the best in new kite flying gear in our huge on-the-beach kite store. All the latest kites will be available for you to see, and you will even be able to test fly a Rev quadline kite. There will also be a fantastic selection of windsocks and toys being presented by our seriously fun staff. Open Friday afternoon through the close of the event on Sunday.

Inflatable Obstacle Course - Tons of fun for all the kids. Let them run out some of their energy prior to heading home. Open Saturday 11-5 and Sunday 11-4.

Kite Demo Field - Try flying a sport kite for free!

Giant Kites - Kites as big as school buses – yes, you read right – school buses. We will have anywhere from 3-6 kites that are 90 feet long and 40 wide depending on the wind conditions. Kites fly all day Saturday and Sunday.

Indoor Fly - Head to Lakeshore Middle School Friday night from 7:00pm - 8:00pm to watch as some of the best performers compete for your applause in the Indoor Fly. Yes, that's right, indoor kite flying! (Please note- this is a different location from previous years. The other gym is now being used for basketball.)Map

Kiteboarding Demonstrations – If the wind is blowing strong enough we will have a few local riders out on the water. Check out our complete kiteboarding school and shop at www.mackiteboarding.com.

Open Flying Field - An open area where everyone has the ability to help us decorate the sky with their own kites.




Some of Our Performers

WindJammers celebrate their 28th anniversary this year! -Windjammers Kite Team - Celebrating 28 years of filling the skies!
-Chicago Fire Kite Team - 10 time National Champions.
-Too Much Fun - This talented quadline team has been flying since 2001.
-The Phoenix Kite Collective - This amazing quadline team made up of former iQuad members flies indoors and out.
-Al Sparling - Giant Octopus and Trilobite.
-Darryl Waters - Rizzo the giant Gecko and other large showpieces.
-Lee Sedgwick - World famous kite demonstrator and candy dropper.
-Sam and Anne Ritter - The King and Queen of HUGE stacks of Revolutions.
-Fred and Donna Taylor – Running of the bols and line laundry & ground show masters, including penguins and the famous "OpticalPile".
-Blues Bros. - What can we say? Spencer Schubbe and Steve Rothwell are cool, and it shows in their smooth moves.
-Fire and Ice - Kathy Brinnehl and Paul Koepke amaze with their dual line routines.
-Elizabeth Gordon - We welcome Elizabeth back to Center Field with her creative individual ballet routines.
-Mark Ledvina - He does the Wisconsin Kiters Club proud with his large kite display.
-Grant Lovett - His homemade Spikey Balls and other pieces adorn the south end of the flying field.
Map of the event

Great Lakes Kite Festival FAQs

What are the dates for this/next year's festival? I need to make my vacation plans early.
Great Lakes Kite Festival is the weekend before Memorial Weekend each year. Yep, we kick off summer a full week before most people!


What does it cost to attend GLKF?
The event itself is free, and if you're a Michigan resident and have opted for the Recreation Passport with your license plate tag, parking inside the Grand Haven State Park (aka "the beach") is also free. Others will need to buy a day pass to park inside the park. There are also free parking options outside the park for those willing to walk a bit or bike in. If you have kids who would like to enjoy the bounce house and inflatable obstacle course, you can purchase an unlimited-use bracelet for a nominal fee inside the tent.


Where can I stay at night?
If you make reservations early enough, you can camp onsite in the state park campground. Visit the Grand Haven State Park website for more info. There are also many motels, bed and breakfasts, cottage rentals, and other campgrounds in the area. The Grand Haven Visitors' Bureau and Chamber of Commerce maintain excellent lodging lists. Wherever you choose to stay, we recommend making your reservation early as places do fill up for this event, Grand Haven's second largest after the Coast Guard Festival.


Do you have a map showing where the main festival and Indoor Fly are?
Yes! This map shows where the events are held, as well as where to find our two shop locations.


Is there a detailed schedule of events that shows who is flying when?
Teams and individuals are scheduled as we go depending on whose kites can fly in the current wind conditions, so it's not possible to print any sort of accurate performance schedule ahead of time. However, as we determine the next couple performers coming up, we do try to announce that throughout the day so that you'll know who's next.


When is the best time to come?
Depending on the wind, there will be performances and giant kites in the sky throughout the day. Each team or individual usually performs multiple times over the weekend, so just hang around for a bit and you're bound to catch your favorite. If you have kids, the Candy Drop and Running of the Bols races usually take place around 2pm, but again, this depends on the wind.


Is photography allowed?
Absolutely! You are welcome to shoot all the photos and videos you like. We simply ask that all photographers remain outside field boundaries for their own safety as well as the safety of our fliers, and as a courtesy to others who are also trying to get shots of the action. Forgot your camera or simply want to sit back, relax, and take in the show? We'll have a photographer busy getting shots all weekend and will post the best ones on our Facebook page.


Are the giant kites really as big as a school bus?
Well, some are actually larger...


What is "Kite Club Row"?
You may notice several colorful banners lining the walkway along the beach. Many of these are set up by the various kite clubs with members in attendance. Although they work hard to decorate the beach and sky, they are friendly folks who are always glad to chat and answer your questions about kites. You may even find a club from your area that you can join.


What should I wear to the beach?
While we are often blessed with sunshine and warm temperatures that weekend, keep in mind that the lake can still be chilly and may cool the nearby air, so pack a sweatshirt or jacket just in case. No matter the temperature, remember to apply sunscreen- UV rays pass through the clouds even if the sunshine doesn't!


Can I fly my kite while I'm there?
Everyone is invited to fly their kites on the beach south of the pavilion- just find an open spot and launch! New performers are welcome to apply- just contact us with your information.


What's a "demo field"?
Each year we try to have at least one field with a professional kiteflyer who will show you the basics of flying a stunt kite for free. No reservations are needed- just stop by and we'll make sure you get a turn going hands-on with a controllable kite (wind permitting, of course).


Will there be merchandise for sale at the event?
Inside the giant tent on the beach you'll find event t-shirts, assorted wind spinners and windsocks, beach toys, and of course a huge selection of kites for all ages and interests. Even if you don't buy, it's worth taking a walk through what is temporarily the world's largest kite store and checking out all the colorful fun.


Can I rent booth space?
Due to state park regulations, we cannot offer vendor space.


Do you have any other kite events during the year?
One Saturday in late January/early February, we host the Reeds Lake Ice Fly with Rose's Restaurant in East Grand Rapids. Bundle up and join us on the frozen lake for some kiteflying fun, then step inside Rose's to warm up with free hot dogs and hot chocolate.
In September, come back to the Grand Haven beach for the King of the Great Lakes Kiteboarding Test Fest. Kiteboarders can try out next year's new gear while spectators enjoy watching the pros perform extreme tricks.


Where can I get more info about the event?
As kite festival time approaches each year, we post details on our Facebook page. You can also find past event photos there. Be sure to "like" us! You can also sign up for our newsletter for event info and coupons.


Still have questions? Contact us.


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