Special to the Parade
When Bill and Susie Doan of B&S Kites sponsored the first SPI Kite Fest, they had no idea where this new venture would take them.
They just knew that flying a kite was fun and wanted other people to experience that feeling too. What started out as a simple ‘fun fly’ has turned into one of the largest attended kite festivals in the country – being awarded Kite Festival of the Year by Kite Trade Association International last year.
From Feb. 4-5, the 12th Annual SPI Kite Fest will take place on South Padre Island. The festival runs Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on the flats just north of the Convention Centre. Admission is free and the public is invited to come out and enjoy this kiting event.
Kiters from literally all over the United States and Canada will descend on South Padre Island for the weekend to color the sky with their kite displays and outstanding choreographed routines.
Returning for his sixth consecutive year will be John Barresi from Portland, Oregon. John is a national quad-line and dual-line kite champion and leader of the world-renowned kite team – iQuad.
The first time John performed at the SPI Kite Fest, he fell in love with the Island and the Texas hospitality. Accompanying John this year will be teammates David Hathaway, Steve de Rooy, Barry “Bazzer” Poulter, Willow Demers and TK Barresi.
Other teams scheduled to perform at this year’s festival are Team EOL from Austin, Texas as well as special performances by local Team SPI.
Coloring the sky with their displays of kites of all shapes and sizes will be Doug and Linda LaRock of Yakima, Washington, Phil and Barb Burks of Portland, Oregon and Dr. Gayle Woodul of Marble Falls, Texas. These kites consist of deltas, stars, circles, fish, octopus, frogs, cats and dogs.
As well as these displays and performances, there will be a silent auction going on throughout the event. And a visit to the festival is not complete without stopping by the main tent and registering for the free kite giveaways.
Other festival activities include a Rev Clinic with Team iQuad on Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The fee for this clinic is $40 per person. On Friday evening, Feb. 3, there will be an indoor kite exhibition from 6:30-8:30 p.m. at the South Padre Island Convention Centre. Tickets for this indoor performance are $5.00 per person. On Saturday evening, there will be a banquet and live auction held at Isla Grand Beach Resort from 6:30-9 p.m.
Banquet tickets are $15 per person. Advance registration is required for each of these special events.
For more information, contact B&S Kites at (956) 761-1248, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, on the web at www.spikitefest.com, or visit the SPI Kite Fest event page on Facebook.