Kites Over Enid
What: Kites Over Enid 2017
When: 10 am-4 pm, April 29-30, 2017
Where: Richard Dermer Memorial Flying Field behind Autry Technology Center, 1201 W Willow
Driving Directions: Flying field accessible only from N. Van Buren. Turn west on Mulberry and proceed to field.
There was one common complaint from participants in the 2016 Kites Over Enid festival - Why isn't this event being held over both days of the weekend? After the success of the Saturday-only 2016 event, 2017's version of Kites Over Enid will be a full weekend of kite flying.
Kites Over Enid 2017 will be held April 29-30 at the Richard Dermer Memorial Flying Field behind Autry Technology Center. April is National Kite Month, and the goal of Kites Over Enid is to introduce – or reintroduce – the joy of flying a kite to children and adults alike.
Kites Over Enid was held in 2009 and 2010 in a large field behind Autry Technology Center. Both events were held as attempts to break the Guinness Book of World Records for number of kites in the air at one time. In 2009, Enid broke the North American record with 2,598 kites in the air at once, but fell short of setting the world record. The 2010 Kites Over Enid event again came up short with “only” 2,439 kites in the air. The 2,598 kites flown in 2009 remains the North American record.
AKA National Conventions
American Kitefliers Association is a nonprofit organization dedicated to sharing kite flying with the world. Richard (pictured) and Marti Dermer, the founders of Hideaway Pizza in Stillwater, were avid kite flyers involved in AKA and in 2010 heard about Enid’s efforts to set the world record. Once Richard came to Enid and saw the field behind Autry Technology Center where Kites Over Enid had been held, he told people, “This would be perfect for the national convention.” Richard helped convince the AKA to bring its national convention to Enid in 2012. Based on the fun they had and the way they were welcomed by our community in 2012, AKA brought its 2015 national convention back to Enid. Unfortunately, Richard passed away in 2014 but the city of Enid honored his memory and contributions to kite flying at the beginning of the 2015 AKA convention and members flew kites on the Richard Dermer Memorial Flying Field. It's the same field we'll use for Kites Over Enid.
Kites Over Enid 2017
The idea to bring back Kites Over Enid came from the 2015 AKA National Convention with city and AKA leaders saying a kite festival in Enid each year would help advance the joy and values of kiting. Phillip Whitaker, Enid native and AKA 1st Vice President, was the Field Coordinator for the 2015 convention and leads the efforts for Kites Over Enid.
This year's festival will have two feature flying teams.
TKO Sport Kite Team: Team members Troy Gunn, Shane Snowden and Jerry Hershey participated in AKA Conventions in Enid in both 2012 and 2015 and love to fly their kites at the Richard Dermer Memorial Flying Field. TKO specializes in flying maneuverable sport kites in various daring formations, all choreographed to music. Learn more about the TKO Sport Kite Team here.
Go Big or Go Home: Returning for its second year are husband and wife team Christian Baden Powell and Gayle Woodul and their team of experienced flyers who fly all types of kites but love the HUGE inflatables like Beaudreaux and Liz, the giant octopus kites that hovered over Enid in 2016 (see photos below). Learn more about Go Big or Go Home here.
We encourage you to come fly a kite with us on April 29-30, 2017.
Phillip Whitaker and Marti Dermer at the 2015 AKA National Convention in Enid.
What a wonderful sight!
The sky alive with kites
Of all shapes and sizes,
And everyone realizes
What extraordinary fun
It is to be flying one.
Folks of all ages
Pipsqueaks and sages
Join in the sky-dance
Just for a chance
To go fly a kite.
There’s one at an amazing height
Flown by a precocious child
Turned loose into the wild,
Wide world of sun and breeze,
Of sky and distant trees.
I hear as she joyfully exclaims,
Look, Dad, Enid Kites Up The Plains!
Sept. 19, 2009
Kites Over Enid Sponsors:
Park Avenue Thrift
Mercy Health Systems
American Kitefliers Association
Comfort Inn, 210 N Van Buren, 580.234.1200