Annual Kite Expo In Ocean City

OCEAN CITY – The resort will kick off the season early by painting the sky with every color under the sun at the Maryland International Kite Expo (MIKE), set for this weekend. The festival will be showcasing a spectacular cast of kite builders and sport kite competitors from around the United States.

The 18th Annual Mid-Atlantic Stunt Kite Championships starts on Saturday morning. Individual and team flyers from around the country choreograph flight routines to music at one of the most competitive sport kite events in the country. The competitions take place on Saturday, April 26 through Sunday, April 27 from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. The Hot Tricks Shoot Out is scheduled for Sunday afternoon and features the best kite fliers showcasing a host of tricks in a head-to-head competition that is fun to watch or participate in as a judge.

“Thousands of spectators will experience the thrill of watching a sport kite competition and get the opportunity to meet the greatest kite builders in the world. Visitors will understand why Ocean City is the kite capital of the world,” said Jay Knerr of the Kite Loft.

Beatrix Pelton of Sky Festival Productions said the event is a fantasyland for kite lovers.

“Ocean City is one of the best places in the world to showcase kites,” Pelton said. “It is home to the world’s largest kite retailer [Kite Loft] and now to America’s most exciting kite festival. 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.”

Additional activities and entertainment throughout the weekend festival will include:

— Free sport kite lessons and a “Learn To Fly” field is offered in front of the Kite Loft between 5th and 6th streets on the beach on Saturday and Sunday. Times vary.

— Japanese Rokkaku battle kites on Sunday at 12:30 p.m. at 3rd Street.

— Fighter Kite challenge on Sunday at 11 a.m. at 3rd Street.

— Free children’s kite making at 3rd Street tent on Saturday and Sunday at 10 a.m.

— Running of the Bols on Saturday at 2:30 p.m. and on Sunday at 2 p.m. on 3rd Street.

— Stunt kite flying demonstrations on Saturday and Sunday.

— Mid-Atlantic Stunt Kite Championships runs all day Saturday and Sunday, beginning at 9 a.m. at Division Street and the beach.

— Banquet and Auction on Saturday beginning at 7 p.m. at Shenanigan’s Pub on 4th Street.

— Guest kite fliers with giant kite exhibitions at 2nd Street, and East Coast kite clubs will showcase their kites with air and ground displays.