Up, up and away: Soaring the Jerusalem skies

26th Annual Kite-Flying Festival at Jerusalem's renovated Israel Museum captivates visitors.

By LOREN MINSKY/ ITRAVELJERUSALEM.COM TEAM
August 25, 2011 12:42
2 minute read.
Jerusalem kite flying festival

Jerusalem kite flying festival . (photo credit: Courtesy)

 
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Barak Aharon, courtesy of The Israel MuseumThe colorful 26th Annual Kite-Flying Festival took place on Tuesday in the Israel Museums’ Billy Rose Art Garden. Approximately 6,500 visitors attended with hundreds trying their hand at flying commercially bought kites as well as kites made at a special workshop on the day. The festival, the biggest of its kind in Israel and one of the biggest in the world, drew a crowd of amateur kite-lovers and passionate professional kite-flyers.

“The event provides entertainment for the entire family,” said Roni Teled, the Israel Museum’s special events director. “In addition to the throngs of moms and young children, grandparents and babies tag along for the festivities.” The festival also attracts people who may not come to the museum otherwise.

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Over the years, the Art Garden has become a well-loved venue for a variety of public and private events, festivals and fairs including the annual Israeli Wine-Tasting Festival and high profile music and dance performances by the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, Kibbutz Contemporary Dance Company, Idan Raichel Project and more.

In addition to dynamic kite-making workshops that took place all day long, festival attractions included a display of kites of all shapes and sizes and a presentation in the afternoon by the world-famous Jerusalemite family of kite enthusiasts, the Shavit family. The family come to the festival every year to tell audiences about their adventures at international kite-flying events and to fly their vibrantly colored patchwork kites. The family shows pictures of their beautiful kites from around the world.

The festival also entertained on the ground with a musical parade of artists on stilts in enchanting costumes, an energetic interactive drum circle in one corner of the garden that invited audience participation, lively background music and fun festival food for sale – bourekas, hot pretzels, drinks and ice cream.

Professional kite-flyers got their own section of the garden to give them extra room to get their enormous kites up in the air. By late afternoon when the wind picked up, all the kites took to the Jerusalem skies. Just before sunset the crowd was wowed by the vivid sight of a dozen huge kites and hundreds of little ones.

The 26th Annual Kite-Flying Festival took place on Tuesday August 23rd at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem.

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