Letters

Keep Festival Flying

Sep 11, 2019

To the Editor:

I am a Canadian professional kite flyer. I do personal and corporate events to show off my artistry, color the sky, share my passion for kiting, and I enjoy making people smile. My goal is to get people and families out of their homes, away from their electronics, to enjoy the beautiful surroundings and nature, and create memories that will last a lifetime.

There is no other experience like walking along a beach or in a park and seeing the sky filled with hundreds of bright, unique and beautiful kites during a kite festival.

The very exciting and popular fifth annual LBI FLY International Kite Festival is coming up soon, on Oct 11-12, and on behalf of the many talented kite artists, performers, hobbyists and professional kite flyers, I want to thank the people of LBI, the local business community, the different jurisdictions, law enforcement, mayors, committees, volunteers and your local international kite artist superstar Lisa Willoughby, the main driving force behind this unbelievable kite festival.

You all have made the first four years of the LBI Fly Kite Festival an amazing success. This festival in four short years has by no question become one of biggest if not the biggest kite festival in North America, which my wife Maria and I have been so fortunate and proud to have been part of from the beginning.

Putting on such an event is no easy feat. Many of us volunteer for or run kite festivals in our local towns, provinces, states and countries. So we know the effort that is needed to make them a success. We work closely with organizers, vendors, the local business community and the public to make sure that everyone has fun and is safe.

Also, as a group, we hope that all our efforts and passion for the art of kiting bring recognition and monetary gains to the local community and local businesses for years to come. With this festival’s current success and reputation, locally, nationally and internationally, the kiting community truly believes this festival will continue to grow and prosper.

Most kite artists/flyers do these festivals or events for little more than the artistry and just the joy of entertaining the public, but we all still have expenses we hope that someone will help to offset. Most of the kites flown at the LBI event cost anywhere from $500 to $10,000, for some of the larger kites, believe it or not. Put a few of these kites in your bag, accessories, line, repairs and maintenance, and it adds up very fast.

Kiters are not asking for anyone to cover those expenses; they are something we maintain as tools and part of our artistry. But what we are hoping for is that the local people, community organizations, businesses and local governments come together to help cover some of our travel (gas) costs, meals and, most of all, much-needed accommodations.

If you live or have a business on LBI and you wish to make this event a continuing success, please step forward and get involved, volunteer your time, or share a room/house or became a valued sponsor. For your effort, come to the beach and tell me how you helped and I will let you fly any one of my kites – the big ones will take you away.

I hope to see everyone on the LBI beach for the festival. My wife and I are counting the days.

Walter Corsetti

Toronto, Ontario

 

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