The team at SmileFactor10, in partnership with Fylde Council, have officially announced their biggest-ever kite festival in St Annes. The popular seaside town will play host to over 200 kite fliers from the UK and across the globe.
This year, the festival falls on the second weekend in September:
Friday, 8 September, 1.00pm to 10.00pm
Saturday, 9 September, 11.00am to 5.00pm
Sunday, 10 September, 11.00am to 4.00pm
Six arenas will span the beach on either side of St Annes Pier, with more kites than ever before taking to the air for this truly spectacular event. Gigantic creatures will form the backdrop to art banners, mobiles, spinners and zany beach bouncers. Stunning handmade art kites will dance in the breeze, and 2-line and 4-line sport kite flyers will perform incredible choreographed feats of flying in the main arena.
The best of the best homegrown flyers will stand alongside some of the world’s greatest kite makers and flyers, including teams from Ireland, Germany, India, Norway, France and Holland – all guaranteed to display fantastic kites and add their unique style to the festival. You can join in too! Bring or buy a kite to fly on the beach.
There will be more to see and more time to see it this year! By extending the festival into Friday afternoon, organisers hope to make the event even more accessible to visitors, particularly those who work weekends or wish to visit at a quieter time. Join SmileFactor10 and friends on the beach from lunchtime onwards as the kite festival comes together and excitement builds ahead of the night fly.
Sunset will signal the moment when floodlights spring into action to illuminate the giant inflatable kites on the north side of the pier. On the south side, daytime kites will be given a new lease of life with brightly coloured LEDs and dazzling effects, dancing in the sky until the show closes at 10.00pm.
In a break from previous years and looking towards a more sustainable future, organisers are working on a sound and light spectacular to replace the traditional fireworks. Sorry folks, no pyrotechnics, but we’re sure you’ll not be disappointed! The dogs and cats of St Annes will certainly sleep easier this year!
In addition to kites, there will be performers and entertainers, funfair and donkey rides, traders, and food and drink vendors on the beach and promenade from Friday through Sunday. Plus, there will be some fantastic sand art this year on the wide open beaches of St Annes which we know you’re going to love!
Supported through funding from St Annes Town Council there will be an Accessoloo on the Promenade which offers a modern mobile Changing Places toilet facility at the event to allow for a full day of fun with added inclusion.
Here’s a quick rundown of this year’s international kite flyers: Shahir and Abdullah from Kerala in southern India. Team Jeem from Gudjarat in the north. Øystein Høyland from Norway. Herman and Ina Plattje from Holland. Bernhard Dingwerth, Florian Janich, Ralf Maserski and Markus Münstermann from Germany, Florent Slonski from France and festival-regulars, Kitecrew Ireland.
Sue Kennedy from SmileFactor 10 said “We are excited to be back with a new format for 2023 and we are looking forward to welcoming new friends from across the world and closer to home. A big thank you to Fylde Council for their ongoing support, not forgetting the fantastic kite fliers who return year after year – we couldn’t do it without you! You have made St Annes Kite Festival the biggest in the UK. High Five!!”
Councillor Jayne Nixon, Fylde Council lead Member for Tourism said “This will be a fabulous event once again and I can’t wait to see the skies of St Annes awash with colours of all shapes and sizes and I thank the organisers, supporters and sponsors of the event for their kind support. It is also great to see such a busy weekend on the coast with an array of events with something for everyone”
The kite festival takes place on a very busy event weekend in Fylde with the Fairhaven Regatta taking place on Sunday 10th September, plus the Lytham Vehicle Show on Lytham Green on Sunday 10th September. Plus, on Saturday 9th September, there’s the rescheduled Blackpool Colour Run in aid of Trinity Hospice near Starr Gate. On top of that, it’s also the Southport Air Show weekend so you may well see aircraft just across the estuary, including the Red Arrows on Saturday
Please note the kite festival event is entirely weather-dependent, and the planned programme may be changed without notice for safety reasons.
Why is the Kite Festival held at this time of year, after schools have gone back?
The timing of the Kite Festival is carefully chosen based on safety considerations and tidal patterns. We can only host the event when tides allow for the maximum safe use of the beach. Unfortunately, there are very few weekends that align with both safe beach conditions and the availability of kite-flying groups. Additionally, we aim to schedule the festival during school term times to support the hospitality sector, as it helps balance visitor numbers. So, in essence, it’s a combination of ensuring safety, accommodating kite flying schedules, and benefiting local businesses.
Can I fly my own kite at the festival?
Absolutely! You are welcome to fly your own kite anywhere outside of the designated kite-flying arenas. We encourage kite enthusiasts to bring their own kites and enjoy the open skies during the festival.
Where can I enjoy the Kite Festival if dogs aren’t allowed on the beach as a dog owner?
There will be a designated dog-friendly section to the right of the North Promenade car park at the Kite Festival.
What other attractions can my family enjoy at the Kite Festival?
We have a variety of exciting activities and entertainment for your family, including:
- Fun Fair
- Donkey Rides
- Sand Art
- eBublio – Magical Bubble Makers
- The Giant Seagulls
- Ashton Gardens
- Marc Jackson – Cartoon Comic Art Workshop
- Family Kite Trail
- Fylde’s Young Flyers’ Kite Art Competition
Food & Drink
- A diverse range of food vendors along the promenade
- Local cafes and restaurants in and around St Annes Town Centre
What facilities will be available at the event?
We’ve got you covered with the following facilities:
- Information point
- Lost children point
- Lost property and security desk
- A dedicated first aid team on constant patrol
- Additional bins and a dedicated litter-picking team
- Extra event toilets
What facilities are there for disabled visitors?
To promote inclusivity, the event will feature an Accessoloo on the Promenade, funded by St Annes Town Council. This modern mobile Changing Places toilet facility ensures that everyone can enjoy a full day of fun. Furthermore, the Promenade offers a flat and accessible terrain, making it easy for visitors with disabilities to navigate. Whether you choose to enjoy the kite flying from the Promenade or St Annes Pier, you’ll have an accessible and enjoyable experience.
Where can I park?
There are plenty of parking options available, including:
- Additional event parking signposted on South Promenade (with space for up to 600 cars) adjacent to Fairhaven Rd Car Park (FY8 1NW) – Cost is £5 CASH per day (strictly no overnight parking).
- Fylde Council Car Parks https://new.fylde.gov.uk/resident/parking/car-parks/
- St George’s Road Multi-Storey Car Park
- Motorhomes, coaches and other vehicles – https://new.fylde.gov.uk/resident/parking/motorhomes-coaches-and-other-vehicles/
Will there be any fireworks?
No, there will not be any fireworks at the evening display this year. Instead, we are going green with an eco-friendly light display.
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