The Great Delaware Kite Festival, co-sponsored by the Lewes Chamber of Commerce and the Delaware Division of Parks and Recreation, annually takes place at Cape Henlopen State Park on Good Friday. This year, the festival is celebrating its 50th anniversary, and special free activities have been included to celebrate Friday, March 30. Kite competition registrations begin at 10 a.m. with ample opportunity for kite competitors to practice in the fields adjacent to the competition area.
The Easter Bunny's appearance is a longtime feature of the event that will continue again this year. An Easter egg hunt was added to the festivities four years ago and it will kick off the event at 11 a.m. This year the hunt is sponsored by County Bank and includes 6,000 eggs filled with candy and toys.
Kite competitions for children and teens are scheduled to begin at 11:30. The highest kite competition follows at approximately 1 p.m. and is open to all ages.
The awards ceremony for those competitions includes medallion awards sponsored by Lewes chamber members. The 50th anniversary will be acknowledged at the conclusion of the awards ceremony with free cupcakes, sponsored by Delmarva Power, to commemorate the milestone.
The popular two-member team egg toss competition continues again this year immediately after the highest kite contest. The adult competitions will begin at approximately 2 p.m., interspersed with professional stunt kite-flying demonstrations. The event concludes with the awards ceremony for the adult competitions. Note that times may vary according to weather conditions and the number of competitors.
Other free activities have been added this year to celebrate the 50th anniversary including performances by Cascading Carlos the juggler, a free kite craft table from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. sponsored by Rehoboth Toy & Kite Company, and a free bounce house sponsored by Grand Rental Station.
All of the activities are free including the Easter egg hunt and the egg toss. The egg hunt will be limited to children up to the age of 12, and the egg-toss teams can be multigenerational. Preregistration for the Easter egg hunt is not necessary, but participants should arrive at the park much earlier than 11 a.m. when it is scheduled to start. Event parking is at the park's beach parking lot, and extra time is needed for transit back to the event location.
The kite competitions are in three age categories: Children up to age 12, Teens 13-17 and Adults 18 and older. Within each age category, kite flyers are judged by the type of kite they are flying – homemade or store-bought. Special Class awards include the open individual ballet (free flight performance accompanied by music which the entrant provides), and individual precision (compulsory figures including the square, the mount and ladder down, judged on technical execution, most senior flyer, youngest flyer, flyer farthest from home, smallest kite and largest kite). The highest kite award category is open to all ages. Entrance fees apply for cars to enter Cape Henlopen State Park. They will be collected at the entrance to the park - $5 per car for Delaware license tags and $10 per car for out-of-state tags. The Jolly Trolley will transport spectators at no cost to the competition field from the state park's beach parking lot, and handicap parking is available at the Seaside Nature Center parking lot.
For those who have not made their own kites and want to participate, Kids' Ketch and Rehoboth Toy & Kite Company will be on-site selling a wide variety of kites with ample space, adjacent to the competition field, to practice in advance of the competitions which begin at 11:30 a.m. Also, there will be food vendors, a face painter and community organizations set up surrounding the field.