It’s hard to imagine anything more carefree than flying a kite. That’s why the Detroit Kite Festival was started and that’s what it remains to this day: a way to reconnect with a more whimsical state of mind for a few hours every summer.
“We call it a summer slowdown,” says Margo Dalal, kite crew member and one of the festival’s founders. “It’s the idea of recharging, relaxing, and coming together to do something simple and fun.”
This free, day-long event starting at 10 a.m. is happening for the third straight year on July 14 at the Belle Isle cricket field.
The Detroit Kite Festival is a feast for the senses—there will be music, food vendors, activities, and performances. But of course kite flying takes center stage. If you don’t have your own, the festival has some to purchase or rent, though they do encourage you to buy or make one.
There’s always a mixture of adults and children; seasoned flyers, people who haven’t flown a kite since they were little, and newbies. Even lounging to watch the fleet of brightly-colored kites against the blue background is a delight.
“Almost no matter what, people have a great experience,” Dalal says, “either learning to do it or reconnecting with childhood memories. It’s so fun to see the playful side of people come out.”
Several tents will be set up for kite-making, cooling off, and other activities. A regular feature of the festival is the “book nook.” This year, the nonprofit writing center 826michigan will facilitate poetry writing about kite flying, and a number of kite-related books will be available to browse.
This year’s festival is set to be the biggest yet. Already, over 11,000 people have said they’re “interested” on the Facebook event page and Dalal says 2,000 have registered. Previous years have brought around 3,000 to the island park.
The event is funded by donations and completely volunteer-run. Festival organizers are still looking for volunteers—they’d like around 100—so if you’re inclined to facilitate fun, you can sign up here.
We’ll update this article with info about the weather as the date nears.