The Skies the Limit: Tenth Annual Kite Fest Louisiane`
02/12/2014 06:58PM ● Published by Aimee Cormier
Annual Kite Fest Louisiane`
A Festival of Their Own
Radiant hues of vibrant color and brilliant design waltz against the backdrop of a paler shade of blue as the tenth annual Kite Fest Louisiane’ makes its 2014 debut. The festival will take place on April 5 & 6 from 11 a.m. until 6 p.m. with the exception of Saturday evening’s Live Band at 5 p.m. and Fireworks display at 7 p.m.
The southern horizon, embellished by various shapes, sizes and color will be a spectacular site as spectators enjoy dual and quad line Kite Ballet Performance’s demonstrated by professional kite flyers from across the nation.
Kite Fest Louisiane` is the brain child of Sharon Stam, Executive Director of the West Baton Rouge Convention & Visitors Bureau. Stam explains that her vision was ignited after seeing the skies over Texas filled with kites while attending a travel show.
The festivals first year trial and error led Stam to move the location after its first year to the West Baton Rouge Soccer Complex on Highway 415 at Rosedale Road, as opposed to its original location at Rivault Park, near the Mississippi River Bridge. “The West Baton Rouge Soccer Complex has given us plenty of room to do all the things we needed for the festival to grow,” explains Stam.
The festival has experienced a considerable increase of both interest and support by local families, schools and businesses over the course of ten years. Starting out with 2,500 in attendance during their first year, the numbers have increased substantially, averaging now at 20, 000 in attendance. The festival’s student day festivities brought in 250 school children during that first year, however now it embraces over 3000 students from schools as far away as Kentwood, New Orleans, etc.
Stam started the festival with a vision, but her journey led her on a mission. Her vision was to give Baton Rouge a festival to call their own; a festival that would bring families and communities closer together while engaging education, interaction and participation. In 2011 West Baton Rouge Parish was officially declared the “Kite Capital of Louisiana” and awarded the 2011 Festival of the Year in 2012.This year commemorates ten years of a missions accomplishment and a job well done.
This year’s festivities will include a few extra’s to observe its success and express its appreciation to all who have made it possible by rally and support. The first day of the festival will conclude with a local live band called Big River Express at 5 p.m. and a fireworks display at 7 p.m. There will be an indoor flying demonstration as well as two and four line Kite ballet performances on the field for your entertainment.
Both festival day lineups will consist of fun activities such as bouncing inflatable’s, face painting and candy drops, kite making demonstrations and kite design contests, BOL races for children and the beloved Bubble Man!! Families are also encouraged to bring their personal kites from home or they may purchase on from one of the many vendors available. Louisiana vendors will also be available for food and beverage and T-Shirts.
A $250 prize will be awarded by American Gateway Bank to the winning design of the 10th annual Kite Fest Louisiane’ poster contest. Signed and dated copies will be available for purchase at the Kite Fest.
For more information about student day, festival hours, location and phone numbers, please call: 800-654-9701. Or visit www.westbatonrouge.net
(2014 sponsors include, WBRZ - Channel 2, The Advocate, Lamar, WYNK, Entergy, American Gateway Bank, West Baton Rouge CVB, Extreme Inflatable's, Louisiana Office of Tourism, Emco Technologies, Placid Refining, Southern Mulch, Southern Packaging, GSA Consulting Engineers, J. Hunnington Odom, Jr. DDS, Chustz Electric & Downtown Duplicating, Brand Energy, Petrin Corp. and Guaranty Bank & Trust Co.)