Posted by: Kath Usitalo | May 18, 2011

Kite Pros Work At High Flying Fun

The giant kite invasion at Grand Haven State Park (Kite Festival photo)

Kite flyer or chemical engineer?

On Monday night as we watched the so-close-to-graduation-we-can-taste-it-high-school-seniors collect their applause at the honors program I wondered whether any of them, instead of the doctor, lawyer, engineer and fashion designer careers they’ll pursue come fall, would prefer a job as a professional kite flyer.

There is such a thing. Some of them will be in Michigan this weekend at the 23rd Annual Great Lakes Kite Festival, May 20-22 at at Grand Haven State Park on Lake Michigan.

You can even pay $40 per 2-hour class ($70 for both sessions) for lessons on Friday with Josh and Zach Gordon, brothers and multiple-time national champion kite pilots.

The young pros will teach Dual Line Mastery and Quad Line Mastery so that you, too will be able to make kites dance to music like the iQuad Team, which will also be participating this weekend. Click to see their moves to “Papa was a Rolling Stone.”

You’ll see bigger than school bus-sized kites and over a dozen featured pilots perform kite ballets, an indoor kite fly, stunt kite action, fighter kite demos, plus a night fly with lighted kites.

There will be test fields where you can test fly the latest kites, and an open field where you can fly your own kites.

No kite? No worries; shop at the World’s Largest Outdoor Kite Store under the tents on the beach.

The Grand Haven lighthouse watches over the festivities (Kite Festival photo)

The festival is hosted by Mackinaw Kites & Toys, which operates a year ‘round store in Grand Haven and a warm-weather shop in Mackinaw City. That location opened in 1981 and is “one of the oldest kite stores in the world.”

The Great Lakes Kite Festival is free but you must have a State Park Recreation Passport to enter the grounds ($10 annual fee for residents, non-residents pay an $8 daily fee or $29 for an annual passport).

A small price to pay whether you plan to go pro or just enjoy some high flying fun.

Visitor Info Clicks: Grand Haven

Pure Michigan

Related Post: Let’s Go Fly A Kite, March 30, 2009 



  1. I remember this festival! We used to take the kids. I remember that the boys fell in love with yo-yos at that time (remember the yo-yo craze about 10 years ago?) and their dad was hugely into kites. So much fun!

  2. I never got the hang of the yo-yo, but do like kites. Have yet to see this festival; maybe next year!

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