Fifth Annual Kite Festival Aiming to Reach New Heights With Additional Events

By Gina G. Scala | Oct 08, 2019
File Photo by: Ryan Morrill

Ship Bottom — If the weather cooperates this weekend, the top-flying female kiter in the world, a Surf City resident, will be hanging out on the rooftop deck of Hotel LBI doing what she does best: flying a kite. For Lisa Willoughby to do that, though, the conditions need to be nearly perfect, something that won’t be known until Saturday, the day of the first-ever rooftop kite fly on Long Beach Island.

Willoughby, who has done rooftop kite flying in Bogota, New York City and China, said earlier this week there’s a lot of consideration that goes into making the final decision of whether the Oct. 12 evening event will get off the ground. The expectation is she’ll be at the luxury resort hotel around 5:45 p.m. for the demonstration, weather permitting.

It’s all part of the fifth annual LBI Fly International Kite Festival, a three-day event, planned by the LBI Chamber of Commerce. On Friday, Oct. 11, highly skilled fliers will show off their talents at an indoor kite show and competition at the LBI Grade School. The event features celebrity kite fliers skilled at flying kites in zero wind, according to event organizers.

The festival continues with more events in Ship Bottom on Saturday, Oct. 12, including the Bol kite racing, a kite battle, and buggy kite rides for kids.

Willoughby will spend most of Saturday at the 13th Street beach in Ship Bottom, where the demo field will be located. A kite building class is being offered at Drifting Sands Oceanfront Hotel, East Ninth Street in Ship Bottom.

Also on Oct. 12, there will be a demo kite field on the 68th Street beach in the Brant Beach section of Long Beach Township. The illuminated night fly in Barnegat Light is slated for Sunday, Oct. 13, at Barnegat Lighthouse State Park in Barnegat Light.

Another first for the kite festival is the fully functioning traffic lights in Ship Bottom. Traffic signals south of the Causeway are historically turned to blinking the Monday after Chowderfest. That was this past Monday, Oct. 7. —G.G.S.

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