Kite Festival sees steady turnout, colored sails overhead; a perfect day

ST. GEORGE — The Dixie Power Kite Festival celebrated its 17th incarnation Saturday and, for the first time in its history, was held on the campus of Dixie State University at the Encampment Mall.

The 17th annual Dixie Power Kite Festival took place on the Dixie State University Encampment Mall in St. George, Utah, April 23, 2016 | Photo by Don Gilman, St. George News
The 17th annual Dixie Power Kite Festival took place on the Dixie State University Encampment Mall in St. George, Utah, April 23, 2016 | Photo by Don Gilman, St. George News

Hundreds of kites filled the air on a warm, breezy day, and thousands of visitors came to fly kites, listen to music, watch performers and take in the sights and sounds.

Numerous rows of vendor booths offered food, games, services and crafts. Bounce houses, a foam pool, human hamster balls, a rock climbing wall and many other activities saw long lines of children and their parents waiting to play.

Students who had satisfied a reading requirement were given a free kite, book or a $10 voucher.

From January until April 23, students were required to read a certain amount per day. When each day’s requirement was fulfilled, parents signed the home reading chart. Students could then bring the chart to the festival and receive their gift.

The first 16 years of the kite festival were held at the SunRiver Golf Course.

Jarrett Waite, Kite Festival director, said he was pleased by the turnout this year.

The 17th annual Dixie Power Kite Festival took place on the Dixie State University Encampment Mall in St. George, Utah, April 23, 2016 | Photo by Cathy Eberhart Barber, St. George News
The 17th annual Dixie Power Kite Festival took place on the Dixie State University Encampment Mall in St. George, Utah, April 23, 2016 | Photo by Cathy Eberhart Barber, St. George News

“It’s been incredible so far,” Waite said. “Really, really good attendance, lots of fun stuff for the kids to do.”

Stella Iverson, manager of the festival, said that while Dixie Power is the primary sponsor, there are numerous other businesses that helped fund the event as well as over 350 volunteers who played an important role.

The main beneficiary of the festival is the Washington County School District Foundation, Waite said, adding that their goal this year is to donate $55,000. It seemed likely they would be able to meet that goal.

Over the course of the previous 16 years, Iverson said, the festival has raised over $400,000 for the foundation.

The weather at the event was nearly perfect this year, something Iverson said hasn’t always been the case during the festival’s history.

“I think this is the first year the kites have flown all day. We’ve had years when there’s been no wind and some years when there’s been too much wind. This years it’s been perfect all day.”

On average, there were 200 hundred kites in the air at any given time, she said. She also estimated that there were approximately 20,000 visitors to the festival throughout the day.

The festival began at 10 a.m. and ran until 7 p.m. A concert of the “Dixie’s Got Talent” winners entertained visitors at 6 p.m.

According to the festival website, the mission of the event is four-fold:

  • to provide a wholesome, uplifting, family-oriented event where everyone can participate regardless of experience, training, financial means or physical ability
  • to promote reading as a fundamental basis of education for every elementary-age child
  • to provide support for education through additional funding and make that funding available to schools through the Washing County School District Foundation
  • to promote the businesses whose support is vital to the kite festival

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Email: dgilman@stgnews.com

Twitter: @STGnews

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

 

 

 

 

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