International Kite Festival, Dieppe, NB

Dieppe International Kite FestivalOne of the unexpectedly fun things about having children is getting to do activities you’d never get around to doing if you didn’t have them. Take the International Kite Festival in Dieppe, for instance. Before Amelia, I wouldn’t have gone, even though it sounds neat – a whole festival of kites! But knowing how much Amelia loves kites, I packed her up in the car yesterday afternoon for the drive.

These are not the kites I remember from my childhood! Acrobatic displays with multiple kites dancing to music; kites shaped like lizards, fish, birds, strawberries, and giant eyeballs – the Dieppe International Kite Festival was a lot of fun for both me and Amelia.

There are a few things you should know about the 2013 kite festival, and their website doesn’t cover it all, so read on to learn from our experience!

Location

Dover Park. That’s all the website says*. Google Maps and my GPS didn’t recognize that as a location. The Tourism New Brunswick site said “333 Acadie Ave” but a complete lack of kites or parks told us we had not arrived in the right spot.

So if you’re not from Dieppe, take note: Dover Park is at 337 Dover Road.

* After publishing this post, I did find the info for the location on the official website – it’s on the “contact us” page, but from the way the text is written, I thought the link pointed to a map of the grounds, and thus never clicked on it. This is why navigation architecture and writing for the web are important!


Admission

Free! There’s a cost if you want to go into the kid’s zone, but entry to the grounds is free.

Bouncy castles in the kid's zone at the Dieppe International Kite Festival.

Bouncy castles in the kid’s zone at the Dieppe International Kite Festival.

Food & Drink

We didn’t sample any, but there was a variety of delicious-smelling food, fresh lemonade, etc. on hand. Bottles of water can be had for $2.The tents at the Kite Festival

Amenities

There are port-a-potties on site, but nowhere (that I saw, anyway) suitable for diaper changes. Not the end of the world, as the backseat always does in a pinch, but something parents of kids still in diapers will want to prepare for.

Activities for kids

OK, I know. A kite festival is an activity for kids. But in addition to the kite-flying, and the kid’s zone with the bouncy castles and entertainment, there is a “wind garden” with some fun whirlygigs made by students from Dieppe schools.

Amelia was terrified of them, but in a happy way.

There’s also a tent where kids can go and make their own kites, as well as an area where they can try their hand at flying them. Or, you can buy a kite on site & try that out!

Giant eyeball kitesThe giant eyeball kites (which are actually something called a “bol” rather than a kite, if I understand correctly) kind of bounce around on the ground and were also a source of great fun for older kids.

Playground at Dover Park, Dieppe NBOh, and there’s a playground.

The Kites

There are various activities and demonstrations throughout the festival. We saw the “running of the bols,” which is when competitors race while pulling a bol (the giant eyeballs) behind them.

I’m lucky to keep a kite in the air, and was amazed by the demonstrations of kite-flying prowess. We saw several demonstrations of people flying kites in time with music. Some of the demonstrations were with multiple large kits, coordinated together. Stunning!

The kite garden

The “kite garden”

There was also an area that I thought of as the “kite garden” because it was filled with kites (or bols?) anchored to the ground. Bright and colourful, there were all sorts of creatures floating in the sky!

The verdict

The Dieppe International Kite Festival is on August 14 – 18, 2013. If you have kids, or are a kid at heart, it’s a fun time. Just remember… put 337 Dover Road into your GPS!

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