Dixie Power Kite Festival explores new heights in reading; new location announced

ST. GEORGE – Dixie Power, in partnership with the Washington County School District Foundation, will host the 17th annual Dixie Power Kite Festival Saturday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. The event will feature fun for the whole family, including games, exciting activities, food vendors and of course, kite flying. A new addition to this year’s festivities will be a change in location.

The 17th annual Dixie Power Kite Festival will be hosted at Dixie State University on the encampment mall. The new location marks a departure from the festival’s previous home on the SunRiver Golf Course, a move that organizers of the festival said is bittersweet.

Because of continued growth in the SunRiver community, the move was inevitable, said kite festival manager Stella Iverson. Iverson was quick to express her gratitude to SunRiver for being such gracious hosts of the festival in the past; however, she said she is also looking forward to future festivals at Dixie State.

“I am ecstatic about the location,” Iverson said. “It is centrally located, and it ties into education. The timing is perfect. Great changes are taking place at Dixie State, and kids can come onto campus and say, ‘I can go to college here someday.’

Parking will be available on campus as well as on the streets surrounding the university; however, there will be no shuttle bus as there was at the SunRiver location, so attendees should plan to park and walk.

The festival is free to attend, and kite flying will take place all day at the south end of the encampment mall.

Since its inception, the Dixie Power Kite Festival has been committed to fulfilling its four-fold mission:

  1. Provide a wholesome, uplifting, family-oriented event where everyone can participate regardless of experience, training, financial means or physical abilities
  2.  Promote reading as a fundamental basis of education for every child of elementary school age
  3. Support education with additional funding and make that funding available to selected participating schools at the discretion of the Washington County School Foundation
  4. Patronize those members of the business community whose financial sponsorship make the Kite Festival possible

Local elementary students have been earning their kites by filling out a reading calendar, marking them for each day they have read. At the festival, students will return their completed calendars in exchange for a high-quality kite or a book.

Throughout the months leading up to the festival, the elementary schools encourage students to read and participate, and schools with the most student participation are rewarded with additional funding for their literacy programs, said Pam Graf, the director of the Washington County School District Foundation.

Over the past 16 years, the Dixie Power Kite Festival has awarded $400,000 to elementary schools in the district to help promote and encourage reading.

“You are building kids lives with this,” Graf said. “Everybody needs to know how to read.”

The festival will include continuous entertainment provided by elementary school choirs, community martial arts and performance groups. Additionally, a free concert will be put on featuring winners from the “Dixie’s Got Talent” competition.

Close to 70 vendor booths will line the campus encampment mall, providing opportunities to play games and purchase food and support the businesses that support the festival.

“We have so many great sponsors and supporters, and they do it year after year,” Iverson said. “It is a big benefit to have that support for the children and reading.”

In line with their mission to provide a wholesome and affordable experience for the entire family, the festival will include a large area of free games where children can play and win prizes, as well as other games that range in price from $1-$4, Iverson said.

Bounce houses, walk-on-water balls and a foam cannon will round out the festival of fun.

The festival kicks off Saturday at 10 a.m. and will continue until 7 p.m.

Event details

  • What: Dixie Power Kite Festival
  • When: Saturday, April 23, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
  • Where: Dixie State University encampment mall, 225 S. 700 East, St. George
  • Cost: Free; some food vendors and activities may charge a small fee
  • Additional information: No shuttle busses will be provided; park and walk

Resources

  • Dixie Power Kite Festival | Website
  • Washington County School District Foundation | Web page

Email: hreina@stgnews.com

Twitter: @STGnews

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2016, all rights reserved.

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