With mostly clear skies and great winds, the weather was perfect for the 9th Annual Windscape Kite Festival in Swift Current, Saskatchewan. On June 22 and 23, the skies above the open Windscape Field were filled with an incredible array of kites. Featuring enormous, wonderful kites and inflatables, out-of-this-world stunt kite fliers, quad line fliers and teams that thrilled the crowd, and colorful banners that were extraordinary to watch and wonder about, Windscape once again offered something for everyone – of any age.
“What makes the kite festival special for me is that the whole weekend was designed for kids,” Ron Bohart, an extraordinary kite builder from Oregon, said. “A straw bale maze for the little kids, mystery sand pile for bigger ones, splatter wall for the messy ones, bubbles for the bubbly ones, kite building for the creative ones, face painting for the ones that want to be different, colouring contest of kites, lessons for kite flying, give-a-ways, candy drops, temporary tattoos, helium balloons, paper airplanes, balloon sculpting, cold and hot kids’ food, and bunches of other stuff. There wasn’t an unhappy kid face anywhere.”
The brand new Kiwanis juggling tent was a great addition to the festival this year and was extremely popular and well-received. Kids of all ages got to test their skills at plate-spinning, feather balancing and juggling. Juno award-winning children’s performer Al Simmons stepped in at the last minute to put on a fantastic show for families and kids of all ages.
“’Amazing’ was a word that I heard over and over from those in the crowd,” added Bohart. “Paul LaMasters and Team Too Much Fun’s amazing quad routines; Tristan Underwood is just amazing; Simon Crafts amazing cellular kites; John Pollock’s amazing bowed kites; Scott Hampton’s amazing banners; Jose Sainz’s amazing everything he put up in the air; Yvon Hache’s amazing Dopero; and Adrian Conn is just amazing, period.”
“I think overall we had a really fantastic mix – the ground displays were beautiful, and we had some really stunning kites in the air that we’ve never seen before,” said organizer Shann Gowan. “It was a well-rounded set of artists and performers this year, and I think we are going to get another great mix for next year.”
Vancouver’s talented Tristan Underwood noted that, “it was a pleasure performing at this event. Truly one of the best festivals I’ve attended.”
Next year will be Windscape Kite Festival’s 10th Anniversary, and Gowan is planning to bring in several award-winning kite artists and a team of stunt flyers from the UK to help make the festival even bigger and better than ever. The festival would not be possible without the 350+ dedicated volunteers, staff members, and sponsors who all contribute to ensure the event’s success.
“Thanks to all the numerous volunteers, the City of Swift Current, and the sponsors for putting on this event,” said Toronto’s Gary Mark. “This ranks as one of the top events I’ve ever attended in the world. Kudos to the team!”
Those who came to see the amazing kites were also treated to some fantastic live music, since Windscape Kite Festival is held in conjunction with a music festival which runs Thursday through Sunday evening on the same site. This year’s Long Day’s Night Music Festival featured performances by Taj Weekes & Adowa, Old Man Markley, Hollerado, and Serena Ryder, as well as opening acts by Saskatchewan bands Descalso and Young Benjamin’s, and even Swift Current’s own Over the Air.