Blossom Kite Festival
|Smithsonian Kite Festival|
The Blossom Kite Festival, formerly the Smithsonian Kite Festival, is an annual kite event usually held on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. in late March during the National Cherry Blossom Festival. The 2014 kite festival will place on the Washington Monument grounds on Saturday, March 29.
The festival was founded in 1967 by aviation pioneer Paul E. Garber, also founder of the National Air and Space Museum (NASM). Until 2010, the Smithsonian Associates, the cultural, educational, and membership division of the Smithsonian Institution organized and sponsored the festival. The National Cherry Blossom Festival, Inc., began producing the festival in 2011 and renamed the event to the "Blossom Kite Festival".
The 2013 kite festival took place on the Washington Monument grounds on Saturday, March 30.
The 44th Smithsonian Kite Festival, which the Smithsonian Associates and the NASM presented, took place on Saturday, March 27, 2010. The theme was "CRAFTed for Flight". Events included the competitive Rokkaku Battle, Hot Tricks Showdown and Ground Display. The festival also featured a kitemaking competition that was open to any hand-made kite. Adult competitors and a team of judges ranging from kitemaking experts to local celebrities to museum staff chose the winners of awards in each category. Kitemakers were grouped according to experience and age: kitemaker, master kitemaker, age 11 and under, age 12–15. The event also encouraged non-competitors to make and fly kites on the Washington Monument grounds.
The 43rd Smithsonian Kite Festival was held on Saturday, March 28, 2009, on the Washington Monument grounds. The theme of the festival was "Going Green". Participants were encouraged to create environmentally and thematically “green” kites from renewable resources such as bamboo and recyclable goods such as paper and cloth. Organizers expected to distribute 1,000 free kites to children on a first come, first served basis.
The 42nd Smithsonian Kite Festival was held on Saturday, March 29, 2008, on the National Mall. The festival, which was tied to the 2008 Summer Olympics to be held in Beijing, China, from August 8 to August 24, 2008, highlighted the art and history of Chinese kites. The Smithsonian stated that the Chinese introduced the first kites more than 2,000 years ago. According to the Smithsonian, the Chinese first used kites in military affairs for estimating distances and carrying propaganda leaflets, but the kites' influence gradually spread to Western countries to become what the Smithsonian called a “familiar artistic and cultural icon.” The Smithsonian stated that kites continue to play an important role in China.
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