Tell John Vickers to go fly a kite, and he’ll do just that.
In fact, Vickers is hoping Greater Victoria residents will join him, or at least come along for the ride as he organizes the Victoria International Kite Festival, a free, two-day outdoor event gliding into Clover Point this weekend.
“I thought Victoria was lacking in free to attend, family-oriented festivals,” Vickers said. “(I wanted) to do something for the community … It will go a long way to create a lot more fun and edge in the city.”
The organizer for the Victoria International Buskers Festival and the Victoria Chalk Festival as well as the Kite Fest, Vickers is excited to take over Clover Point alongside hundreds of kiting enthusiasts. Visitors will have an opportunity to take to the skies alongside experienced kiting competitors, many of whom are coming from as far as New Jersey, Florida, Arizona, Oregon and Washington.
“Kite festivals have been gaining in popularity across the U.S. and Canada,” Vickers said. “If you’re three or 93 there is a lot of enjoyment for everyone … Many of us who flew a kite as a kid can relate to getting out there, letting one up in the sky and all the fun that comes with that activity.”
In addition to sharing the skies with hundreds of other kites of all shapes sizes, some of which cost upwards of $1,000, there will be a kids’ zone featuring kite making, a food village and a world-renowned kite collection from Dale Ray, an extravagant collection valued at more than $250,000.
Terry Wiggill, a sales representative by day, and serious kiting enthusiast by night, travels across North America to approximately 10 festivals a year. The leader of kiting foursome Island Quad, performs alongside three others carrying out synchronized kiting where their kites loop-de-loop and dive to the earth within an inch of the ground before flying back into the sky in tandem. Wiggill is excited to finally be doing so at a festival in his home town.
“I love it. Flying kites you are looking up rather than down, you get to fly in some beautiful places. This is an easy thing to like,” he said. “People love to fly kites – and fly together.”
The kites first go up at Clover Point tomorrow night at dusk, when LED-lit kites wow the crowds into the evening.
Go to victoriakitefestival.com for more information and a full schedule of events.