The Council on Aging of West Florida’s annual Kites on the Coast event will be returning to Pensacola Beach this Spring for two days of intergenerational, high-flying fun. This year marks the second annual Kites on the Coast event, which is held in support of aging adults throughout Escambia and Santa Rosa counties.
The inaugural Kites on the Coast event was hosted last September by the Council on Aging of West Florida as “an opportunity to bridge the generational gap and create an intergenerational event everyone could enjoy,” according to Council on Aging of West Florida Development Manager Farrah Hale.
The festival will return to Casino Beach on Pensacola Beach March 17 from 4 pm to 10 pm and March 18 from 10 am to 4 pm. This year’s event will feature professional kite flying demonstrations, a newly added lighted night flight, numerous kites for sale, children’s activities and more.
Kites on the Coast will kick off on Friday at 4 pm, which will allow for a special new lighted night flight once dark. Organizers are looking forward to this fun addition to this year’s festival.
“Chicago Kite will return to fly their giant kites, but this time they light up! I’m excited to see how amazing they will look next to the gulf. Last September, we couldn’t have the lighted night fly because we were still in turtle season, and the lights could misdirect mama turtles from coming ashore to lay their eggs,” Hale explained. “We love our turtles, but we wanted the lighted night fly. So, we moved the event to March.”
In addition to the night flight, there will be a variety of professional kite flying demonstrations taking place over the course of the festival. Chicago Kite will be at the event flying their larger-than-life kites which feature a variety of fun colorful characters like Snoopy, a flying pig and a gorilla. “He (Chicago Kite) has so many interesting and beautiful kites. Last year, people said they could see them all the way from Navarre,” Hale said.
SkyFX is new to this year’s event and will also host a series of show-stopping kite flying demonstrations. “SkyFX performs choreographed demonstrations with their quad-line stunt kites. I’ve watched their ‘warm-up’ videos and was blown away. I can’t wait to see what they can do,” Hale said.
Throughout the two-day festival, the Council on Aging of West Florida hopes to see the sky filled with kites and invites the entire community to come out and join in the fun by bringing a kite to fly during the festival. If you want to participate in the high-flying fun but don’t have your own kite, don’t fret. There will be a variety of kites available for purchase at the event.
“I encourage everyone to bring a kite out or buy a kite at the event. If you run into a problem, the kite hospital is there to help! The kite hospital is available to help fix minor breaks, tangles or rips. If you’re anything like me, you will become well acquainted with the kite hospital,” Hale said.
In addition to the kite-related fun, there will also be a variety of local vendors, food trucks and children’s activities. “This year we plan to include a larger kid’s activity area. We will still have the customizable paper kites for the kids, but the MESS Hall will also have their STEM activities,” Hale explained.
As with any of the Council on Aging of West Florida’s events, the proceeds from Kites on the Coast will directly help support seniors in our community.
“Kites on the Coast helps Council on Aging of West Florida serve, support, and advocate for aging adults in Escambia and Santa Rosa counties. The proceeds from the event go directly to our programs like Meals on Wheels, The Retreat, Senior Dining Sites, as well as our Senior Companion and Foster Grandparent programs,” Hale explained. “The event also brings awareness to the agency and our clients. There are many vulnerable elders in our community, and all too often, society puts them and their needs on the back burner. Events like these are meant to remind us that we can make an impact despite the size of our wallets.”
Kites on the Coast 2023 is open to the public and there is no cost to attend; however, donations in support of the Council on Aging of West Florida will be accepted.