Crowds cover campus lawn with colorful kites at annual festival

ST. GEORGE A breeze was blowing, the sun was shining and thousands of faces were smiling at the 18th annual “Dixie Power Kite Festival” Saturday.

Vendors see long lines and crowds of people at the “Dixie Power Kite Festival held on the Dixie State University Campus, St. George, Utah, April 22, 2017 | Photo by Hollie Reina, St. George News

Held on the campus of Dixie State University, the festival, dedicated to helping literacy programs in the Washington County, was was a success, organizers said.

Saturday marked the second time the kite festival was held on the Dixie State University campus and volunteers and organizers are very pleased with the collaboration.

In addition to introducing young readers to a college campus, the space allowed for thousands of community members to gather on the encampment mall to participate in kite flying, continuous entertainment, vendors, games and bounce houses.

“It’s just a great place to be,” Don Lyman, the festival’s assistant director said.

Lyman has been involved with the festival for all of its 18 years, he said, and is so happy with the venue and the success of Saturday’s event.

“Look at the lines,” Lyman said. “The vendors are happy.”

Proceeds from the festival go to the Washington County School District Foundation the fundraising arm of the school district – which in turn directly benefits literacy programs in the schools.

The 18th incarnation of the festival saw record crowds.

I think we’re busier than we’ve ever been,” Pam Graf, president of the Washington County School District Foundation said. “I’ll bet we’ve had 25,000 to 35,000 people here.”

Students from Kindergarten through fifth grade were given a reading calendar in January and, based on grade level, had been asked to read a certain amount of time and have their parents mark it on the calendar. Students who brought their completed calendar to the kite festival were eligible for a free kite, book or $10 voucher to be used on games or rides during the kite festival.

Almost every facet of the festival from the bounce houses, kids games and entertainment stage to the vendor booths and kite field was full of people smiling and enjoying a lovely day.

“It’s just been a lot of fun,” Graf said.

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Copyright St. George News, LLC, 2017, all rights reserved.


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