Everyone already knows that fine wine meets world-famous barbecue in the Santa Maria Valley but during National Kite Month this April, The Santa Maria Valley Discovery Museum will showcase one of this community’s other great assets—the wind—during the 2nd Annual  FREE Family Kite Festival on Sunday, April 17.

The Santa Maria Valley Discovery Museum’s 2nd Annual Free Family Kite Festival is sure to be a day of fun, learning and lots of activity.  Held in partnership with the City of Santa Maria Parks and Recreation Department this FREE family event will be at the Rotary Centennial Park from 11 – 4 pm.  The Santa Maria Valley is known for its Springtime Wind which is ideal for growing the many crops that sustain our community but also makes it great for kite flying!  The City of Santa Maria is blessed with a robust and active Recreation and Parks Department who provides many beautifully maintained parks and open spaces and always focuses on healthy outdoor activities, especially those that support healthy development in children. The physical and philosophical environment of the area might just be the perfect place for kite flying to really take off.  Because the area is perfect for kite flying, the Discovery Museum wants to use kites and kite flying as a springboard for exploring design, wind energy, healthy exercise, and the family connectiveness that can come with simple outdoor pleasures like kiteflying.   The obvious connection between kite flying and all that the City of Santa Maria has to offer is so great that the City Council is proclaiming April “Kite Month for the City of Santa Maria” and endorses the participation in the kite festival and all opportunities to fly a kite this Spring.

The April 17h festival will takes place on two fields at the Rotary Park.  Field 1 will be the main field and will be the site where all the interaction with kites will take place.  The festival begins 11 am with a Kite Tail Chase for children age 12 and under where prizes will be given to kids who can “catch” a kite tail.  Kite Tail Chases will continue throughout the day so there are lots of opportunities to win and participate.  There will be contests for the smallest kite, largest kite, best home made kite, and oldest kite flier and youngest kite flier.  Attendees will also enjoy the “Candy Drop” and a Kite “Drag Race” both of which you’ll have to see to believe.        Field 2 will feature a number of kite experts who will dazzle the crowd with various feats of kite artistry and kite flying skills.  Award winning champions from around the world will join us in Santa Maria and will demonstrate Kite Ballet, Kite Precision, and Kite Freestyling.

The festival is open to amateurs and professionals off all ages and you are encouraged to bring your own kite, buy a kite when you get there or just come to watch and be impressed.  Food and refreshments will be available to purchase.  Visit the Discovery Museum and pick up a coupon to purchase kites at a discount at Tom’s Toy’s in Santa Maria.

To celebrate National Kite Month, the Discovery Museum will feature a variety of events and programs throughout the months of March and April.  These programs include kite making, kite storytelling, and a kid-friendly discussion about aero-dynamics offered during the weekly “Twilight Thursday” programs that start at 5:30 each week.  Even the very young visitors can be excited about kites with each Wednesday’s “Pre School Patrol” program offering a craft or activity like making pinwheels or paper airplanes.  Details on these, and additional, programs can be found on the Discovery Museum website at www.smvdiscoverymuseum.org.

The Kite Festival is made possible by the support of the Santa Maria Valley Discovery Museum, the City of Santa Maria Parks and Recreation Department, the Santa Maria Valley Chamber of Commerce, Mix 96.7 Radio, El Compa Radio, and the Santa Barbara Foundation.     For more information about the Kite Festival, and all the events and activities leading up to it, please visit the Discovery Museum website at www.smvdiscoverymuseum.org or call the Museum at 805-928-8414.