(April 23, 2021) Hundreds of high-flying, feather-light colorful contraptions attached to string will take to the air this weekend as Ocean City takes part in the Maryland International Kite Expo.
The event, which is scheduled for April 23-25, will feature kites in various sizes and shapes as well as those that do tricks or hold steady at high altitudes.
“We’re expecting a very large crowd of kite flyers this weekend,” Jay Knerr, owner of Kite Loft said on Wednesday, crediting the fact that many events were canceled due to covid-19 over the last year and people are anxious to get outside. “Hopefully our weather will cooperate – we’re watching that closely.”
He said there will be “ginormous” kites in the shapes of alligators, whales, winged horses and anything else you can imagine.
“There will be all kinds of crazy things: You name it, it’ll probably be there,” Knerr said.
In addition to the many different types of kites being flown by amateurs, stunt teams are expected to give demonstrations of their skills behind the string, directing their aerial devices to perform flips and twists in the air, dives from high altitudes and turns so quick that they tease a hard crash into the ground before soaring back into the sky.
Some stunt teams consist of four or more fliers with four strings each, maneuvering their kites in sync with one another.
“They are the Thunderbirds of the kiting world,” a press release for the event read. “They will perform amazing routines choreographed to music.”
The team demonstrations are expected to take place each day.
The expo will also feature kite lessons on the beach in front of the Kite Loft between Fifth and Sixth streets, as well as kite clubs from up and down the East Coast.
“Spectators will experience the thrill of watching sport kite demonstrations and get the opportunity to meet the greatest kite flyers in the world. Visitors will understand why Ocean City is the Kite Capital of the World,” Knerr said in the release. “Ocean City is one of the best places in the world to showcase kites.
“It is home to the world’s largest kite retailer (Kite Loft) and now to America’s most exciting kite festival,” he continued. “Hundreds of kite fliers from East Coast clubs and sport kite competitors from around the country will fill the sky with an explosion of color, a photographer’s dream come true.”
Knerr said he expects 200 kite flyers to be at the event, which has taken place for 26 years.
In addition to those 200 kite flyers, everyone is encouraged to bring their kites down to the event and take flight with the others.
But for people worried about getting their lines tangled up with others, Knerr said it rarely happens. In fact, most people try to be respectful by giving each other space, he added, and if they do get tangled, they just unwind and launch their kites back into the air.
This is a free event that will take place on the beach from Fourth Street to Sixth Street.
For more information, call The Kite Loft at 410-289-7855 or visit www.kiteloft.com.