Stephen Cook with one of his kites at the 27th annual Nelson Summer Kite Festival at Neale Park on Sunday. Photo: Brittany Spencer.

Flying high at kite festival


The skies over Neale Park were dotted with over 75 kite creations for the Nelson Summer Kite Festival on Sunday.

Around 30 kite display artists turned up with everything from whales, octopuses, UFOs and dragons to fish and Japanese kites.

Kite owner Stephen Cook brought along ten of his kites and says they’re the best hobby to have.

“Some people go to the pub, some people play with electric trains, but we play with sewing machines and then get out and enjoy it all.”

Stephen travels around the country going to different kite festivals but says Neale Park is claimed to be one of the best urban kite fields in the world.

“It’s the perfect spot, you’ve got a big open area and steady sea breezes and we’ve had thousands of people come out for it, families enjoying themselves and kids looking up in awe.”

Organiser Ted Howard says that, after last year’s disastrous event, Sunday’s event was the perfect contrast.

“Last year we got absolutely trashed, trees were down, gazebos were flying, we got completely rained out. But this year was absolutely perfect. Everyone had a big grin on their faces and all the pros were raving about the clean, strong wind.”

Ted says he will never get tired of the sight of so many kites flying over Nelson.

“One of the sayings we have is that when you’re flying a kite you’re fishing for angels, and when you catch one the line sings, and they were sure singing, it was just magnificent.”

Entry was a gold coin donation, with all the proceeds going towards running next year’s event and, thanks to the generosity of the public, Ted is happy to announce they’ll be back next year.

“We really appreciate all the donations and community support, that’s what is keeping this event going, without it we wouldn’t be here,” he says.