(April 26, 2019) Colorful kites will fill the sky this weekend during the 25th annual Maryland International Kite Expo in downtown in Ocean City.
Jay Knerr, owner of the Kite Loft on Fifth Street and the Boardwalk, said about 200 people participate annually, while many others come out to watch. He often sees repeat participants as well as “new faces.”
“If the weather is nice, and with us, we have a nice steady breeze, I mean, you’ll see hundreds of kites up in the air,” Knerr said. “[It’s] a sight to see.”
There will be demonstrations and competitions throughout the weekend on the beach near Fifth Street as well as free kite lessons from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Friday through Sunday.
In addition, there will be a sport kite competition on Saturday and Sunday, and giant kite exhibitions. Teams will perform quad line demonstrations and the East Coast kite clubs will showcase their kites along the Boardwalk.
For a full schedule of events, visit the Kite Loft’s website at www. kiteloft.com.
The Maryland International Kite Expo is a nonprofit corporation dedicated to teaching the public about kiting and hosts national and international amateur kite flying competitions, according to Knerr.
“They’re gonna see a lot of giant kites,” Knerr said. “The show value is tremendous.”
In addition, Knerr said teams using quad line kites are a “really unusual” treat for attendees.
“A four line kite can reverse itself forwards, backwards, sideways, any direction you want to make the kite move,” he said. “It opens up a whole new world of possibilities.”
Knerr said kite flying is fun for the entire family and it allows for a respite from everyday life.
“It gets you out of the house, off the couch, away from the videos and it’s just a fun family activity,” he said.
Kites could also be affordable with an introductory kite costing around $15 and an entry-level sport kite costing roughly $40, he said.
This year’s event is sponsored by several organizations including the Town of Ocean City, Shenanigan’s Pub, The Shoreham Hotel, Alaska Stand and The Kite Loft.
“I encourage people to come out and enjoy the day,” Knerr said. “It’s always a good time in Ocean City.”
There is no cost to participate.