THERE will be plenty of fun at this year’s Wey-mouth Kite Festival – even for those who are not fans of kites.
That’s the message from Kite Community Group director Michael McManus, who’s organising the event for the first time.
The Community Beach Kite Festival will be held on Weymouth Beach over the Bank Holiday weekend of Saturday, May 3, to Monday, May 5.
The annual event has previously been organised by Weymouth and Portland Borough Council, but last year it announced it would have to axe the event in a bid to save money.
Mr McManus and a number of residents and businesses rallied together to keep the festival going.
Mr McManus said: “It’s a massive responsibility.
“It’s a tradition we can’t really let go.
“From the beginning, from the very first meeting, people who said they would help have helped.
“They’ve stuck by us and guided us in the right direction.”
The festival will include scheduled displays where expert kite flyers will show off skills.
A beach Olympics event, face painting and line dancing will also be hosted, as well as an international food village.
Mr McManus said: “We’ve taken into consideration the people who don’t like the kites flying. We’ve thought about everyone really.”
Mr McManus thanked Charlotte Sheppard, events manager at Weymouth and Portland Borough Council, and Steve Davies, events and promotions officer, for their assistance.
Mr McManus also reserved special praise for Allan Pothecary, of Close Encounter Kites, for the help he has contributed to this year’s festival. Mr Pothecary couldn’t hide his excitement after securing a very special guest to attend on Bank Holiday Monday.
He said: “The main thing I want to get over is that the Godfather of kites, the inventor of the dual-line kite, Peter Powell, will be at the festival.”
He added: “If you wanted to invite one kite personality out of everyone that’s available, he would be the man.”
Thousands of visitors are expected to descend on Weymouth to enjoy the displays, which will be accompanied by kite workshops for children and other interactive events where members of the public can take part.
Ian Bruce, Weymouth and Portland Borough Council brief holder for tourism and culture, said: “Mr McManus has refreshed the whole event and it will have attractions and more activities. It’s going to be better than ever. I urge all our locals and all our visitors to come down and support the event.”