American Kitefliers Association returning to Enid in 2015

Posted by Rob Houston, Visit Enid Communications Coordinator on 10/09/2014

Media contact:
Marcy Jarrett, Director

Enid to welcome back American Kitefliers Association national convention in 2015

The American Kitefliers Association (AKA) announced today that its 2015 national convention will return to Enid at the Enid Event Center and Convention Hall and at the flying field behind Autry Technology Center. The dates for the 38th annual AKA National Convention are September 28-October 3, 2015.

The AKA Convention is an annual gathering of kite enthusiasts, artists, and competitors. The Convention ranks as one of the largest kite gatherings in the world. Convention activities include educational workshops, games, displays, and the Grand National kite competitions for kite making and sport kite flying. Committee and general business meetings are scheduled. Other highlights are the Great Kite Auction which offers unique and hard to get kite products and a retail FlyMarket for small vendors.

The AKA held its 2012 national convention in Enid. AKA by-laws require its national convention be rotated every three years between locations on the east coast, west coast and central United States, meaning it will be returning to Enid at its first opportunity. The 2013 AKA convention was held in Seaside, OR, while the 2014 convention recently concluded at Outer Banks, NC.

AKA Executive Director Mel Hickman said the hospitality the group received in Enid in 2012 was a primary factor in returning to Enid.

“We had a good time in 2012 and felt very welcome in Enid,” Hickman said. “It is nice to feel wanted and all the folks in Enid made it very plain that they wanted us to come back.”

Visit Enid director Marcy Jarrett said it was a city-wide effort that made 2012 a successful convention, making it that much easier to recruit AKA to return to Enid in 2015.

“The AKA was extremely impressed with how the City went out of its way to mark the flying field precisely to their specifications. And as the week went on, they liked the fact that more and more of the general public came to the field curious about kite flying,” Jarrett said.

The 2012 AKA convention was held at the Cherokee Strip Conference Center, which has since been razed, and its indoor flying competition was held at the NOC-Enid baseball practice facility. This time, both aspects will be in one location, another detail the AKA found appealing when selecting its 2015 destination.

“Enid Event Center and Convention Hall are thrilled at the opportunity to service the 2015 American Kitefliers Association for the first time in our new facilities,” general manager Keller Taylor said. “The event will utilize both buildings, including indoor flying in Enid Event Center, truly showcasing the flexibility of the spaces.”

Highlighting each afternoon of the AKA convention is the Mass Ascension, where AKA members release their kites at once, filling the skies above Autry Technology Center with magnificent color. The public will be encouraged to attend each afternoon session.

More details will be announced as the convention date draws nearer.