The Festival of the Wind at Emu Park is one of the most popular family kite festival in Australia. It is held around Easter when the winds are favourable and the large tides with the full moon lay bare large stretches of sand allowing room for both kite flying and beach activities. The Festival began in 1999 and now attracts internationally known kite designers from South Australia, Tasmania, New South Wales and the Gold Coast. These expert kite flyers are supported by enthusiastic members of the Queensland Kite Flyers society from Brisbane, Bundaberg, Gladstone and Rockhampton.
Literally hundreds of kites launched from Fisherman’s Beach fill the sky to provide a thrilling spectacle; parents and grandparents are transported back to memories of childhood, flying kites when technology was simpler.
The team from Sydney-based Kite Magic are available to provide expert tuition for anyone interested in learning to fly dual-line kites; many of these are rarely seen in the Rockhampton area and may be purchased. The Rokkaku fighting kite competition attracts a range of sponsor and flyers, many are locals. In this thrilling spectacle, 8 kites are launched simultaneously, with the aim of being the last kite flying. Kites and flyers manoeuvre with stealth or bravado around their competitors attempting to cut or snare their kites causing them to plunge from the sky. The last kite flying wins, progressing to the grand final “fly off” and the coveted trophy. Emotions run high in both competitors and spectators with cheers and boos ringing out for favourites.
Children from toddlers up can learn to assemble and decorate their own kites with the assistance of Lion club volunteers before going down to the beach to join the fun of launching their new kites.
There is no charge for entry to the Festival which is an alcohol free day for the whole community. Apart from kite flying, there are activities for everyone in the family. On the beach, there are sand sculpture competitions, wacky team games with prizes for the winners and kite repair facilities for those accidents. Off the beach in the adjacent park, there is a large market with numerous stalls, fun rides for young and young at heart and food stalls serving your favourite snack. Soon after the sun goes down the fireworks go off with a bang filling the sky with colour and noise. Hopefully all the kites have gone to sleep when this occurs!
The Emu Park Lions’ Club sponsors the Festival as a family oriented event to strengthen community ties and display the beautiful environment of EmuPark with its sandy beaches and green parks. We thank all our sponsors and volunteers for supporting the Festival, including Livingstone Shire Council.
Have fun and come fly with us!!
The latest news on the festival is shared with our friends at www.facebook.com/festivalofthewind.