The wide world of kites will be celebrated during Lahaina Restoration Foundation’s Chinese Kite Festival at Wo Hing Museum, 858 Front Street in Lahaina on Friday, April 17 and a Kite Flying event at Ka‘anapali North Beach Open Space park on Saturday, April 18. Admission is free to both events.
Kites have a colorful history from the days of ancient China through modern times and around the world. The Chinese are credited with the invention of the kite in the 5th century BCE in the city of WeiFang, Shandong province. From there, kites were introduced to Cambodia, India, Japan, Korea and the West. India boasts an ancient kite fighting tradition with the patang, a kite made from tissue paper and bamboo crafted for maneuverability and responsiveness.
During the Wo Hing Museum festival on April 17, you can see handmade kites in traditional and modern styles. Kids can participate in a workshop to make their own kite, and parents can purchase one of the many kites that are for sale. Presentations will be made by Dr. Busaba Yip Douglas on the Story of Ancient Chinese Kites; Kite Master Robert Loera on the East Indian Art of Kite Fighting, and Kite Master Scott Augenbaugh on the Modern Kite at 2 pm and again at 6 pm. Other activities featured on Friday include Kau Chim (Chinese divination) and the art of Chinese knot tying between 3 and 5 pm. Learn how to play Mahjong and listen to traditional Chinese erhu music from 3 to 6 pm. Large kite flying demonstrations will be held between 3 and 7 pm by members of the Hawai‘i Kitefliers Association. From 4 to 7 pm, sip Chinese tea with almond cookies or purchase Chinese foods like steamed bao buns and stir-fried vegetables.
Bring the whole family to fly a kite on April 18 between 9 am and 2 pm at the open space lot in Ka‘anapali North Beach with plenty of free parking. Watch a giant ancient Chinese dragon kite take flight and soar at 9:30 am. Kite Master Scott Augenbaugh will demonstrate multiple sport kite flying at 10 am. Throughout the day, free kite flying with personal kites will be offered along with kite making. A large modern kite will be flown at noon, and from 1 to 2 pm on Saturday, members of Hawai‘i Kitefliers Association will demonstrate sport kite fighting. To reach the North Beach Open Space lot, turn left at the intersection of Honoapi‘ilani Hwy. 30 and Kai Malina Parkway. Take left road to beach access parking lot, which is next to the grass area.
The festival is supported by Hawai‘i Tourism Authority and the County of Maui Office of Economic Development. Wo Hing Museum will be open from 10 am to 7 pm on Friday. For more information, call the museum at 808-661-5553. Check out our Facebook page.