Milestone year for kite festival

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Neale Park will be filled with colour this weekend, as the annual Nelson Summer Kite Festival celebrates its 25th year.

Kite-fliers from all over the country will put on a spectacular flying art show, and the public are also welcome to bring their kites to fly.

Event coordinator Ted Howard, from the Nelson Kite Club, says that it’s definitely a “milestone” year for the festival, and he is feeling thankful that they have been able to keep it alive after a tough year.

“There are only a handful of us left on the committee now trying to make it happen,” he says. “It’s difficult to get members.”

The club also put out a call for donations in December to keep the festival running and have been humbled with the response.

They have received sponsorship from the Nelson Events Marketing and Development Programme, funded by the Nelson City Council, and from local businesses and the general public.

“It means we have the basics of the festival covered, such as traffic management, sound system, first aid, advertising, and all the other things that get this event off the ground,” says Ted.

“We are feeling very thankful. One man contacted me and said his parents were too elderly to come, so gave a donation instead. We really appreciate the local support.”

Ted says there will be between 30 and 60 visiting kite-fliers, including international visitors and world-famous kite designer Peter Lynn from Ashburton.

Buggy rides, face painting, balloon animals, food and drink stalls will also be on offer.

“It’s a great community event and when the weather is good – it’s great. With a nice sea breeze coming off Tasman Bay, it’s spectacular,” he says.

“Come on down and enjoy an amazing colourful event, and for those who haven’t experienced it, they should come check out what is an really amazing display.”

The 25th Annual Nelson Summer Kite Festival, Sunday 24th January 2016 from 12-5pm at Neale Park. Donations welcome.

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