Saturday, January 24, 2009

Kite Festival Info- January 31 & February 1st 2009

South Padre Island Kite Festival

Got the winter doldrums??? Then pack up your kites and come on down to beautiful South Padre Island, Texas, for the 9th Annual SPI Kite Fest taking place January 31st and February 1st, 2009. It's a great place for all kite flyers and non-flyers to come and have a great time.

South Padre Island is just 25 miles north of the Mexican border. The 34-mile long stretch of white sand has the Gulf of Mexico to the east of it and the Laguna Madre bay to the west. The Island is the perfect playground for sailing, fishing, windsurfing, kiteboarding, dolphin watching, bird watching, shopping, golf, and, of course, flying kites.

Port Isabel, which is on the other side of the Queen Isabella Memorial Causeway (bridge to the Island), has many unique shops, restaurants, museums, and the Point Isabel Lighthouse and Keeper's Cottage. The Point Isabel Lighthouse is the only lighthouse on the Texas coast to be open to the public. Crossing over into Mexico can add a little spice to your trip to the Island. There is a lot of good shopping, fabulous food, and entertainment to experience south of the border.

The SPI Kite Fest is held on the "flats" just north of the Convention Centre on the north end of the Island on the bay side. The flats is 20 acres of wide-open flat sand butting up to the beautiful Laguna Madre Bay overlooking the Queen Isabella Memorial Causeway. The average wind on South Padre Island is 14 mph. In February, the winds are generally a constant 10 to 15 miles per hour. The temperature is usually around 65 that time of year.

The festival is put on by B & S Kites, which is owned by Bill and Susie Doan. It brings in huge crowds from all over North America. That is due to the large population of Winter Texans (what Texas calls their Snowbirds) that live in South Texas during the winter. They are the greatest audience you could ever wish for.
Kite demos and shows and many beautiful single line kites fill the sky throughout the day. The local kite team of Team SPI, made up of Jeff McCown, Donna McCown, Claudia Steen, and Guy Blatnik, will be performing throughout the day. We're also excited to be getting iQuad back down to the festival this year for a return visit, joining in will be John Barresi, David Hathaway, Bazzer Poulter and Steve DeRooy, performing and teaching with their quad kites.
SPI Preview

Gayle Woodul, AKA Region 8 director, from Austin, Texas, along with several members from the Cloud Chasers Kite Club, will be bringing some kites for display and putting on shows and demos as well.

The festival runs two days starting at 10 a.m. and going to 4 p.m. Besides the kite displays and demos going on all day, there will be people available to teach individuals to fly kites. There will be a silent auction with all kinds of merchandise to bid on throughout the two days. There will be some prizes given away throughout the festival. Food will be available to purchase from the Laguna Madre Christian Academy. Saturday night there will be a banquet/auction held after the festival. Banquet tickets will be available during the festival.

Whether you're flying or driving, South Padre Island is easily accessible. If traveling by air, you would need to fly into Valley International Airport in Harlingen, Texas, on Southwest Airlines or Continental; or you could fly into Brownsville/South Padre International Airport in Brownsville, Texas, on Continental. Harlingen is 50 minutes from the Island and Brownsville is 30 minutes away. Ground transportation is available at both airports along with most major car rental companies and taxi service.

If you'll be coming to the festival and are interested in performing, please contact Jeff & Donna McCown. We invite everyone, kite fliers and non-kite fliers, to come experience a warmer climate during the winter and join us at the SPI Kite Fest this coming January 31st and February 1st, 2009.

If you have any questions about the festival, contact Bill and Susie Doan of B & S Kites at (956) 761-1248.

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