If the weather angels are on our side, the sky should be bespeckled with soaring kites during the eighth annual Martha’s Vineyard Wind Festival. Holly Alaimo, founder of this resurfaced version, shares, “I say resurfaced because starting in 1967, a kite festival took place in Ocean Park. It ran for about 20 years, and I would hear people talking about how much fun they had as kids flying kites at the event. I decided to resurrect the festival in 2011, and recruited my kids and grandkids, with a few friends, to make the end of summer a celebration for the Island.” Alaimo also added kitemaking, Frisbee games for young and old alike, and model sailboat racing for children.
For Alaimo, the event is more than a day of kite flying. “I consider the M.V. Wind Festival a community art project. We provide free materials and instruction for children to build kites from 10:30 am to noon,” she said. You can also find illustrated instructions on the website mvwindfestival.com, should you wish to create your kite ahead of time. “We have flying time until 1 pm. It is a great family-friendly event, with prizes for all kids who build a kite and fly, or try to fly,” Alaimo said.
If you are a bit older than a kid and feel left out, Alaimo assures us, “The festival is for all ages. We have had a 95-year-old kitemaker, and people flying kites from their wheelchairs.” There will be inexpensive kits for adults, and instruction by Archie Stewart, a kite-flying expert from the Boston area who will start teaching in the afternoon. The adult competition runs from 1 until 3 pm. The competition for adults and kids includes prize categories for the largest and smallest flying kite, the best Wind Sculpture, best “Vineyard Gazette” kite, and the most creative and unusual flying object.
Each year the festival commissions a poster by a well-known artist. Collage artist Genevieve Jacobs created this year’s poster. She uses maps as her medium, and creates beautiful artwork, often with maps that directly relate to the image. Sales of this or previous years’ posters and T shirts will benefit the Martha’s Vineyard Center for the Visual Arts, a great way to support the Island arts community. The merchandise is at mvwindfestival.com/blank; call 508-693-5444 to order.
“Ocean Park is the perfect place to be in September. This is a free event, and we encourage people to bring a picnic lunch and enjoy the day,” Alaimo said. “Come join us for a fun day.”
For a schedule of events, visit mvwindfestival.com.