Kite Festival

Kite Festival

Prudhoe Town Council hosted its 5 Kite Festivals in partnership with John Dobson of Allendale.

Prudhoe Town Council hosted its 5th Kite Festival in partnership with John Dobson of Allendale.

The 2016 Prudhoe Kite Festival took place at Highfield Park, known locally as ‘the windy park’, on Saturday and Sunday, with flying each day from 12 noon till 4pm.

The wind most certainly lived up to expectations on Saturday; volunteers had wind burn rather than sun burn which was the case in 2015.

Sunday brought with it a more gentle breeze but professional Kite Flyers still managed to elevate their wonderful kites to give audiences some amazing displays.

Team Fusion put on a number of wonderfully uplifting displays to music, as well as allowing members of the public to try a quad-line kite on a simulator, made by team member Vince.  Chris, Pete S, Jason and Pete N also helped youngster in the arena to fly the council’s Rainbow Delta Kites, bought in 2013 to allow public participation in the event.

Jim and Vanessa Potts and Keith and Lorna Carpenter are the ‘Sky Artists’ and their large novelty kites have been flown in the Highfield Park skyline each year.  This year a line of five slithering snakes were very eye-catching, as were Ariel the Mermaid and an array of tropical fish, including Nemo who must now be lost in Prudhoe rather than the Barrier Reef.  Malcolm and Jeanette Goodman also added to the colourful display with oriental and animal kites.

The Pallas Family Flyers from South East Northumberland are a family of keen kite flyers and makers; sons Stephen and Adam attended on Sunday with a very energetic display.  Team Revolution is always a huge hit and the two John’s did a fantastic demonstration with some amusing near misses of the very knowledgeable and very funny Kite Commentator, Alan Poxon.

Alan also assisted wife Becky in the Kite Making workshop and lots of children decorated and flew their home-made kites with a winning design each day.

As always the town council is very grateful to John Robson for his PA system and musical accompaniment.  John is a great supporter of all community events, but especially enjoys the Kite Festival and although he had a very busy weekend everything was professionally set up ready to go.

A huge thank you also to Ken Stow of Prudhoe Events Steering Group (who organise Prudhoe Community Fair).  Ken ensured the catering tent was set up with power and shelter allowing the fabulous fundraisers to do their thing.

Rob Batey and Janice Curry from the Red Brick Nursing Home attended on Saturday and provided hot drinks, hot dogs and an assortment of sweets and goodies, all in aid of the Red Brick Mini Bus Fund.  Rob and Janice added over £200 to the fund that currently stands at £7,000 (with £10,000 needed).

If you wish to support this great cause there is a family fun day being organised by a group of 16/17 year olds under the National Citizens Service banner, on 24th and 25th August at Prudhoe Parish Hall.

Joan Lee and Julie Fleckenstein served delicious creams teas, hotdogs and sweets on Sunday, in aid of Boxer Friends Spain; a self-funding charity that re-home Boxer dogs that have been abused and neglected in Spain, in the United Kingdom.  Joan was delighted with this opportunity to make some much needed funds for the charity; over £160 was raised.  Joan hopes to do more local fundraising for this charity and anyone wishing to make a donation should contact the Town Council and we will put them in touch.

Volunteers are what make local events possible; Ian Lowery and Joe Ridley from Prudhoe Youth Charity Shop supported town council staff and councillors for the entire weekend and deserve an enormous thank you for their efforts.

Chairman, Councillor Mrs Jennifer McGee spoke after the event and said “Best Kite Festival, busier than ever.  To put it into the words of a song ‘It’s a kind of magic’.  Big thank you to all who worked so hard to make this a success.  Hope everyone who came to see the amazing kites and spend the afternoon in Highfield Park enjoyed the weekend.”

Sarah Eden said “It was always going to be a gamble having an event at peak holiday time; attendance was lower than expected as has been the case each year, however the feedback received from those who did attend certainly made the event very worthwhile.”

Vince Wilson of Team Fusion said “Thank you to everyone involved with the Prudhoe Kite Festival for all your hard work, there was a great atmosphere. We enjoyed flying our kites and demonstrating the rev simulator. It was nice to see so many people having a great time.”

Rachel Noble of Prudhoe said “There were beautiful skies for the kite festival on Saturday, what a lovely family day”.

Turner’s Fun Fair also brought along a small kiddeis ride and their new coffee and crepes catering van.

Thank you to everyone involved and all who attended over the weekend.

PHOTOGRAPHS WILL BE ADDED SOON BUT SOME HAVE ALREADY BEEN POSTED TO THE KITE FESTIVAL FACEBOOK PAGE.

2 DAY KITE FESTIVAL—4th & 5th JULY, 12-4

International Kite Displays & Sky Art

Kite Tuition

Kite Workshops

Teddy Bear Parachuting (Bring a Bear)

Kite Trade Stall

Kiddies Fairground Rides

Flying Skills Challenges with spot prizes

Fly our very own Delta Kites

Community Groups

(INDIVIDUAL ATTRACTIONS WILL CHARGE)

FREE PARKING               ON-SITE CATERING & W.C

Prudhoe Town Council hosted its 3rd Kite Festival in partnership with John Dobson of Allendale.

The 2014 Prudhoe Kite Festival took place at Highfield Park, known locally as ‘the windy park’, on Saturday and Sunday last weekend, with flying each day from 12 noon till 4pm.

Around 400 people attended on Saturday and although the weather stumped even the most professional of fliers, ‘kites need wind’, families enjoyed the sunshine and made the most of their visit to the park.  The lack of wind didn’t stop the children flying the kites they had made themselves; they simply did what children do best and ran with them.  The artistic talents of Miss Mika Newton (age 7) won her the first of the certificates for best decorated kite and with hundreds of children taking part over the 2 days it was clear to see that the children were feeling very creative.

Some of the best kite fliers in the country attended, including Josh Mitcheson from Ashington, who is the youngest person in the world to fly three two-line kites at the same time to music.  Josh was also able to perform his spectacular Gangnam Style routine on Sunday, when the winds were more favourable.

Graham Lockwood from Huddersfield is acknowledged to be the best in Europe at flying three two-line stunt kites to music at the same time, again managing to put on a fabulous display on Sunday, although he did try his best on Saturday also.

Team Fusion also had more success on Sunday and performed a magnificent and very moving display to the delight of the crowds watching.  Sky Artists weren’t able to get their large novelty and often home-made kites in the air on Saturday, but on Sunday there were tigers, can-can dancing legs and a delightful dog, set against the magnificent backdrop of Northumberland.

The Pallas Family Flyers are a family of kite flyers; Father Arthur and sons Stephen and Adam.  The Prudhoe Kite Festival saw them not only celebrating successful displays over both days but also Adam’s 30th birthday.

Carolyn and Jerry Swift of North Yorkshire were so endearing, they can be seen at festivals all over Britain and as far afield as Malaysia and China, they entertain children from 1 to 99 with their parachuting soft toys. Every child whose toy makes a voluntary drop is awarded a certificate and they have been kite flying (and ‘fauna bombing’) for nearly 20 years. As well as the children’s own stuffed animals, the couple brought along a menagerie of bears from James Bond to Prince William and Prince Harry and a flock of youngsters enthusiastically ran to catch the falling bears.  Donations from those who brought along a bear were in aid of Tynedale Hospice.

The much loved public flying went ahead both days and created a rainbow of colour with the Delta Kites bought by the Town Council in 2013.  These kites have stood the test of time, with a few repairs, and this element of the festival has proven so popular with families and the fliers themselves that it has ‘taken-off’ at Blyth, Souter Lighthouse and soon Holland, where the kites will travel to next.  A very young and very new kite enthusiast, Will Langdon (3), of Prudhoe, out-did the professional fliers on Saturday and was the first to let out all of his kite line, being rewarded with keeping the rainbow delta kite, happy faces all-round.

West Northumberland Youth Service put on a skate/scooter/BMX competition on Saturday.  Prudhoe Parents Group were at the Festival on Saturday and had a constant swarm of young people weaving loom bands, a craze that is not looking like it is going to go out of fashion quickly.

O’Brien’s provided quality catering and a small kiddies ride and giant slide and Rea’s attended both days with their ice-cream van.

On Sunday, Prudhoe Community Choir took up the Town Council’s offer to fundraise at the Kite Festival and brought along a blind bottles stall, for adults and children.  At £1/a go for adults and 50p/a go for children, and a prize every time, it was no wonder they were all sold out by early afternoon.  This idea is something the Town Council would like to see more of; it not only brings something extra to events like the Kite Festival, but it promotes the work of community groups and allows them to raise much needed funds.

As always the town council is very grateful to John Robson for his PA system and musical accompaniment.  John is a great supporter of all community events, but especially enjoys the Kite Festival, “What is not to like”, says John “When you look out at a field full of families enjoying themselves and the skies full of colour; it’s a very pleasing sight”.

Sunday was the better day for the professional fliers, and with another 400 attending, some of whom had attended on the previous day, the kite festival was a soaring success.

Comments from those attending:

John and Lisa Young (Prudhoe)

“We fully enjoyed ourselves and our boys, Frankie (4) and Brandon (8) loved it.  It was especially good to see free use of the rainbow delta kites and Gangnam Style routine was really entertaining.  The organisers were really helpful and there was a friendly atmosphere”.

Donna Liddle (Prudhoe)

“A great family day out with lots of activities for all ages, young and old, including make your own kite stall which my son loved.  We will definitely be going again next year”.

Kayleigh Innes (Stocksfield)

“We thoroughly enjoyed the festival as a family and were all extremely impressed with the professional displays, as well as the facilities and activities on offer.  It was lovely to be able to take my young boys to something a little bit different in our local area”.

Dan and Nicola Mather (Mickley)

“Our girls love fresh air so the Prudhoe Kite Festival was the perfect place to make, watch and fly kites.  We took a break from flying and enjoyed an ice-cream whilst watching the kites to music, they were so in sync – great colourful, family fun, which inspires you to get out and fly and have fun”.

Diane Forster (Mickley)

“It was truly amazing!  Choreography was phenomenal – true skill and a joy to watch.  Getting children involved is proven to make events successful and at this the Kite festival excelled”.

Rachel Oliver (Dubai)

“It was a great day out for all the family with some spectacular kite displays.  And the view from up their makes it a superb location”.

Sarah Eden who organised the event said “I won’t mention the weather again, but would like to say that this event is a pleasure to organise alongside the town council events committee and the very enthusiastic John Dobson.  The professional flyers are wonderful characters and so talented, as well as being very keen to share their skills with those attending.  The event started out as being all about the professional displays, and as fabulous as they are, we knew that we needed some public participation.  It is very pleasing to know that the revolution we initiated in 2013 has been rolled out at other Kite Festivals, and the Rainbow Deltas being flown at Highfield Park in Prudhoe will also be flown in Rijsbergen, Holland.  Everyone who attended thoroughly enjoyed themselves and I am sure this event will get bigger and better each year”.

ALL PHOTOGRAPHS WERE KINDLY TAKEN AND PROVIDED BY COMMUNITY PHOTOGRAPHER, MRS MOIRA WOOLDRIDGE

After the well-nigh impossibly windy conditions of 2012, The 2013 Kite Festival, held at Highfield Park in the more reliable weather conditions of on 6-7 July, was a great success. On both days crowds flocked to Highfield Park to see spectacular solo and team kite displays soaring in the skies above the town. Kite selling and kite-making stalls both did a roaring trade, and it was especially noteworthy that, when public participation sessions threw the field open to one and all, the professional kite flyers were generous with advice and encouragement to get beginners up into the air. In this good weather, the much-anticipated ‘teddy bear parachute drop’ was able to take place on both days, with the much-loved bears achieving especially impressive flight distances before being returned to the safe embrace of their possibly apprehensive owners. Once again thanks are due to Mr John Dobson of Allendale who organised the kite flyers and their demonstrations, and to the kite flyers who shared their passion for their sport with all who attended.

Kite Enthusiasts travelled from far and wide to put on a spectacular display of Sky Art, 3-D Kites and Synchronised Flying to music, as well as holding kite-making workshops and inviting the public to take part in ‘kite-fights’, ‘kite-sprints’ and parachuting teddy bears.

Entry to the event was FREE, although attractions and stands at the event did carry a small charge.  There was also FREE on-site car-parking and toilets facilities as well as good quality on-site Catering and Confectionery Stands.

The programme, as was, can be viewed below:

11.00  Kite Sprint for Professional Kite Fliers
11.30  Graham Lockwood (1 man flying 3 kites)
12.00  Oriental Kite Display
12.30  Public Kite Flying (Kite Sprint & Kite Fight hosted by
Professional Flyers)
1.30  Fusion (Synchronised Kite Flying)
2.00  Josh Mitchison (1 man flying 3 kites)
2.30  Children’s Kite Display (prize for best decorated Kite)
3.00  Pallas Family Fliers (Synchronised Kite Flying)
3.30  Kelvin Woods and his Butterflies
4.00  Parachuting Teddy Bears
4.30  Public Kite Flying (Kite Sprint & Kite Fight hosted by
Professional Flyers)

The event will be held again in 2014 on Saturday 12th/Sunday 13th July, from 12noon till 4pm.

We hope to see you there, and to get you in the mood, have a look at the 2013 photographs below, courtesy of Mr Alan Helmore!

Highfield Park and The Town Council hosted a 2-day Kite Festival on 29th/30th September 2012.

The event was sponsored by Prudhoe Town Council and was organised in collaboration with kite specialist, Mr John Dobson of Allendale.

Kite enthusiasts travelled from far and wide to put on a spectacular display, over 2 days, at Highfield Park, Prudhoe.  The wide variety of kites on display included Oriental, 3D Animals, Dancing Butterflies, Formation Flying and Handmade Art Kites.

All kite demonstrations were subject to favourable weather and the winds over the weekend meant that some kites, unfortunately could not be flown and the teddy bear parachute was not possible.

Amy Furniss of Prudhoe said “The festival was really brilliant, my daughter Olivia was so impressed we had to come back twice”.

Gill Darling, also of Prudhoe took her daughter Jess and friend Millie onto the field to fly their kites, she said “It is fantastic to see this park being used for events, I hope they continue”.

There was also the re-scheduled ‘Sk8 Competition’ that saw an impressive demonstration of skills on the ramps, organised by the Prudhoe Town Council Young People’s Forum.

Macmillan, The Womens and Mens Section of the Prudhoe Branch of the Royal British Legion, Prudhoe Youth Charity Shop and Mark and Anna Robson of the charity aldlife had fundraising stalls which added to the community spirit of the event.

Anna Robson said “it was a very well organised event which was lots of fun for the whole community and a great opportunity to allow us to promote aldlife which is still a very unknown charity, if you would like more information please go to www.aldlife.org

Thank you to Mr John Dobson of Allendale for bringing the Kite Festival to Prudhoe and the teams of fabulous flyers – Malcolm and Jeanette Goodman, SkyArtists, Doug and Linda Richardson, Kelvin Woods, Team FusionPallas Family Flyers and Josh Mitchison; to GoKites for their marvellous merchandise, to Macmillanaldlife, Prudhoe Youth Charity Shop and the Prudhoe Branch of The Royal British Legion for bringing their fundraising stalls, to Turners Amusements for the bungee trampolines, to Overs Catering and Joanna Jackson (Sweet Trailer) for keeping everyone fed and to Julie Charlton for providing face-painting.

For support over the weekend we would also thank the Prudhoe Detachment Army Cadet Force, Carol Quinn and Ian Lowery from the East Youth Centre, the NEAT team from Northumberland County Council and Mr John Thompson for allowing flyers to camp overnight in his field.

Thank you also to James Armstrong and the skaters for complimenting the Kite Festival with their Skate competition, organised in conjunction with The Young People’s Forum for which the results will be announced on the website soon!

The webpage would be boring without the perfect pictures from Moira Wooldridge (Community Photographer) and Councillor Peter Nevin and the fantastic video created by Mr John Robson (aka Mr Disco Man).  Enjoy them below!