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 52nd Anniversary. 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 six years ago and it will continue to kick off the event at 11 a.m. This year the hunt is sponsored by County Bank and includes 5,000 eggs filled with candy and toys. The kite competitions for children and teens are scheduled to begin at 11:30but could be sooner if the egg hunt is completed before then. 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 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 the times may vary according to weather conditions and the number of competitors.
Kite competition registrations begin at 10 a.m. with ample opportunity for kite competitors to practice in the fields adjacent to the competition area. All of the activities are free including the Easter Egg Hunt and the Egg Toss. The Easter Egg Hunt will be limited to children up to the age of 12 and the Egg Toss teams can be multigenerational. Pre-registration for the Easter Egg Hunt is not necessary but participants are encouraged to arrive at the park much earlier than 11 am, when it is scheduled to start. Parking for the event is at the park’s Beach Parking lot and time is required to be transported back to the event location within the park.
The kite competitions are in three age categories: Children-Up to age 12; Teens-13-17 and Adults-18 & older. Within each age category, kite flyers are judged by the type of kite they are flying — home-made or store-bought. The Special Class awards include the Open Individual Ballet (free flight performance accompanied by music which the entrant provides), Individual Precision (compulsory figures including “The Square,” “The Mount,” and “Ladder Down” judged on technical execution), Most Senior Flyer, Youngest Flyer, Flyer Furthest 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 which 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 space, adjacent to the competition field, to practice in advance of the competitions which begin at 11:30 a.m. Additionally, there are food vendors, a face painter and community organizations set up surrounding the field.