Many kites on one string, all sporting the logo of the Smithsonian Associates
If you love kites or better yet photographing them while others fly them for you, mark your calendars for Saturday, March 29th when the Washington Kite festival will be held on the grounds of the Washington Monument. The best part? It’s free.
The Festival was started in 1967 by Paul Garber, also founder of the National Air and Space Museum. It was managed until 2010 by the Smithsonian Associates, a division of the Smithsonian Institution. After 44 years, the event was transferred to the Cherry Blossom Festival and was renamed the “Blossom Kite Festival.” Information about the Kite Festival can be found at their website.
Washington Monument flanked by banners during the 1995 Kite Festival
Now that the Cherry Blossom Festival has taken over, there is a shift from the aviation theme that characterized the Smithsonian years to the Japanese connection because the original cherry trees were a gift from Japan in 1912 Kites first appeared in Japan in the 7th century but they originated in China more than 800 years before that.
Precision control needed to avoid collisions
For a photographer, the best conditions for this event are a crisp blue sky and a good wind. So the pictures you see here were taken in those conditions. During the mid-morning hours (10:00-11:00 AM), a circular polarizer can really make the colors pop and bring a little extra drama to a clear blue sky.
Kites are not the only aerial entertainment available
Can’t get enough shots of these banners