Fri, Sep 16, 2005 - Page 15 News List

Get some wind in your sails at kite-flying festival

By Derek Lee  /  STAFF REPORTER

On your marks, get set, fly.

PHOTO COURTESY OF TAIPEI COUNTY GOVERNMENT

Every year around this time the northernmost town of Taiwan, Shihmen (石門) has played host to kite-flying enthusiasts with the International Kite Festival.

Taipei County Government has been behind the event since 2000 and this year there are also many sponsors from the business community.

Although kite-flying is a traditional leisure sport in Taiwan, the festival has an international outlook, with Japanese, South Korean and Western techniques of kite making and flying on show.

A series of kite-flying events have been scheduled for every weekend of this month and the first weekend of October. The festival officially begins with a kite collection exhibition from Sept. 10 at the county government's administration building in Banciao (板橋), on the first floor.

There will be kite color drawing and stunt kite show at the Zhonghe (中和) Number Four park on Sept. 18, beginning 10am. On Sept. 24 and Sept. 25 there will be a display of different kinds of kites, including fighter kites, giant kites, stunt kites, surfing kites, buggy kites, jet balloons and air yoyos, at Green Bay in Wanli (萬里鄉翡翠灣). Uniquely, a night kite flying activity will be held there from 8pm on Saturday. On Sunday, rokaru fight kites will be on show between 4pm and 4:30pm.

In the first weekend of October, similar activities will be demonstrated at Baisha Bay (白沙灣) in Shihmen, but without the night kite flying and rokaru fight events. There will, however, be kite-making workshops and cultural seminars at the site.

International kite making experts and fliers will be invited to participate, in addition to kite-flying pros from Taiwan, such as Buteo Huang (黃景楨), and other high-profile professionals from the US, Canada, France, Germany, UK, Holland, Austria, India, Singapore, Malaysia, Australia, Japan and South Korea.

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