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Kite Festival 2014

Prudhoe Town Council hosted its 3rd Kite Festival in partnership with John Dobson of Allendale.

The 2014 Prudhoe Kite Festival took place at Highfield Park, known locally as ‘the windy park’, on Saturday and Sunday last weekend, with flying each day from 12 noon till 4pm.

Around 400 people attended on Saturday and although the weather stumped even the most professional of fliers, ‘kites need wind’, families enjoyed the sunshine and made the most of their visit to the park.  The lack of wind didn’t stop the children flying the kites they had made themselves; they simply did what children do best and ran with them.  The artistic talents of Miss Mika Newton (age 7) won her the first of the certificates for best decorated kite and with hundreds of children taking part over the 2 days it was clear to see that the children were feeling very creative.

Some of the best kite fliers in the country attended, including Josh Mitcheson from Ashington, who is the youngest person in the world to fly three two-line kites at the same time to music.  Josh was also able to perform his spectacular Gangnam Style routine on Sunday, when the winds were more favourable.

Graham Lockwood from Huddersfield is acknowledged to be the best in Europe at flying three two-line stunt kites to music at the same time, again managing to put on a fabulous display on Sunday, although he did try his best on Saturday also.

Team Fusion also had more success on Sunday and performed a magnificent and very moving display to the delight of the crowds watching.  Sky Artists weren’t able to get their large novelty and often home-made kites in the air on Saturday, but on Sunday there were tigers, can-can dancing legs and a delightful dog, set against the magnificent backdrop of Northumberland.

The Pallas Family Flyers are a family of kite flyers; Father Arthur and sons Stephen and Adam.  The Prudhoe Kite Festival saw them not only celebrating successful displays over both days but also Adam’s 30th birthday.

Carolyn and Jerry Swift of North Yorkshire were so endearing, they can be seen at festivals all over Britain and as far afield as Malaysia and China, they entertain children from 1 to 99 with their parachuting soft toys. Every child whose toy makes a voluntary drop is awarded a certificate and they have been kite flying (and 'fauna bombing’) for nearly 20 years. As well as the children’s own stuffed animals, the couple brought along a menagerie of bears from James Bond to Prince William and Prince Harry and a flock of youngsters enthusiastically ran to catch the falling bears.  Donations from those who brought along a bear were in aid of Tynedale Hospice.

The much loved public flying went ahead both days and created a rainbow of colour with the Delta Kites bought by the Town Council in 2013.  These kites have stood the test of time, with a few repairs, and this element of the festival has proven so popular with families and the fliers themselves that it has ‘taken-off’ at Blyth, Souter Lighthouse and soon Holland, where the kites will travel to next.  A very young and very new kite enthusiast, Will Langdon (3), of Prudhoe, out-did the professional fliers on Saturday and was the first to let out all of his kite line, being rewarded with keeping the rainbow delta kite, happy faces all-round.

West Northumberland Youth Service put on a skate/scooter/BMX competition on Saturday.  Prudhoe Parents Group were at the Festival on Saturday and had a constant swarm of young people weaving loom bands, a craze that is not looking like it is going to go out of fashion quickly.

O’Brien’s provided quality catering and a small kiddies ride and giant slide and Rea’s attended both days with their ice-cream van.

On Sunday, Prudhoe Community Choir took up the Town Council’s offer to fundraise at the Kite Festival and brought along a blind bottles stall, for adults and children.  At £1/a go for adults and 50p/a go for children, and a prize every time, it was no wonder they were all sold out by early afternoon.  This idea is something the Town Council would like to see more of; it not only brings something extra to events like the Kite Festival, but it promotes the work of community groups and allows them to raise much needed funds.

As always the town council is very grateful to John Robson for his PA system and musical accompaniment.  John is a great supporter of all community events, but especially enjoys the Kite Festival, “What is not to like”, says John “When you look out at a field full of families enjoying themselves and the skies full of colour; it’s a very pleasing sight”.

Sunday was the better day for the professional fliers, and with another 400 attending, some of whom had attended on the previous day, the kite festival was a soaring success.

Comments from those attending:

John and Lisa Young (Prudhoe)

“We fully enjoyed ourselves and our boys, Frankie (4) and Brandon (8) loved it.  It was especially good to see free use of the rainbow delta kites and Gangnam Style routine was really entertaining.  The organisers were really helpful and there was a friendly atmosphere”.

Donna Liddle (Prudhoe)

“A great family day out with lots of activities for all ages, young and old, including make your own kite stall which my son loved.  We will definitely be going again next year”.

Kayleigh Innes (Stocksfield)

“We thoroughly enjoyed the festival as a family and were all extremely impressed with the professional displays, as well as the facilities and activities on offer.  It was lovely to be able to take my young boys to something a little bit different in our local area”.

Dan and Nicola Mather (Mickley)

“Our girls love fresh air so the Prudhoe Kite Festival was the perfect place to make, watch and fly kites.  We took a break from flying and enjoyed an ice-cream whilst watching the kites to music, they were so in sync – great colourful, family fun, which inspires you to get out and fly and have fun”.

Diane Forster (Mickley)

“It was truly amazing!  Choreography was phenomenal – true skill and a joy to watch.  Getting children involved is proven to make events successful and at this the Kite festival excelled”.

Rachel Oliver (Dubai)

“It was a great day out for all the family with some spectacular kite displays.  And the view from up their makes it a superb location”.

Sarah Eden who organised the event said “I won’t mention the weather again, but would like to say that this event is a pleasure to organise alongside the town council events committee and the very enthusiastic John Dobson.  The professional flyers are wonderful characters and so talented, as well as being very keen to share their skills with those attending.  The event started out as being all about the professional displays, and as fabulous as they are, we knew that we needed some public participation.  It is very pleasing to know that the revolution we initiated in 2013 has been rolled out at other Kite Festivals, and the Rainbow Deltas being flown at Highfield Park in Prudhoe will also be flown in Rijsbergen, Holland.  Everyone who attended thoroughly enjoyed themselves and I am sure this event will get bigger and better each year”.


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