“Kite Festivals across the world were all called off because of COVID and now they are all coming back,” said Jane Sapinsky, Executive Director Cherry Valley Artworks and coordinator of the Cherry Valley Kite Festival. “The last Kite Festival we had was 2018.”
“The kiters love the Cherry Valley event. They look forward to it every year,” she said. “We are working on getting all of those kiters back this year.”
“This event is magical. There is nothing like it, it’s such a fun event,” Ms. Sapinsky said. “They are always wonderful. When I see the results, I feel the actual act of getting it together is worth it.”
It is such a joyous event. “The combination of being outdoors, the playfulness of it all. Most of the kiters are men, men who play with kites, how great is that!” she said.
“I had a gentleman come up to me at the last festival. He had a kite that he made when he was ten years old,” Ms. Sapinsky said. “He told me it hadn’t come out of his closet since and he was determined to fly it. That was so wonderful!”
Ms. Sapinsky has been coordinating the Kite Festival for 10 years.
“We have the Kite Festival every other year; we alternate it with the Sculpture Trail in Cherry Valley. They are both huge events,” she said.
“Kites really touch people in a very personal way,” Ms. Sapinsky said. “Every year I hear stories about how our Kite Festival has moved someone.”
“It’s just pure joy for people of all ages, from the very young to the elderly. People walk around with a smile all day,” she said. “When you can make that happen for someone, it’s pretty magical.”
“You see so many familes together at the festival. You don’t see much of that anymore,” she said. “It’s a beautiful setting; we are very grateful to Glensfoot for letting us use the property every year. It’s part of their farm, a two-hundred-year-old farm, and they very graciously make sure the field is ready for the festival.”
“This is our comeback year after COVID,” Ms. Sapinsky. “We never wanted this to turn into a huge festival, when you start getting huge numbers of vendors and huge numbers of people, it becomes something different. This is more about the kite flying and the people getting out on the fields and taking part of the activities and doing it themselves.”
“We used to charge $5 per person; this year we are charging $5 per car. You can stuff as many people as you want into a car and come on in!” she said.
In honor of the return of the festival, in addition to the Friday night event, the Indoor Fly, there will also be a Kite Building Workshop. “The Indoor Fly and the Kite Building Workshop at the old schoolhouse are both free. Everyone is welcome,” Ms. Sapinsky said.
The Indoor Fly is very popular with the kiters as well as the young and old.
“The kiters love the Indoor Fly. They use a special kind of kite and literally through dance movements and manipulating the lines, they make the kite fly indoors without any wind,” she said. “It’s quite amazing,”
“I want everyone to come out and have a great time; we know people love it and enjoy it and we’re excited to be back,” she said.