Kites to fly high over Birch Bay this weekend

Published on Wed, Aug 14, 2013 by Brandy Kiger Shreve

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Summer isn’t over yet. A new festival has found its way to the Birch Bay shoreline and is bringing with it yet another opportunity to enjoy the bay’s warm, shallow waters and wide-open sky. 

On Saturday, August 17 and Sunday, August 18, make your way to the waterfront for the community’s inaugural International Sea and Sky Festival, which will feature a festival of kites and an opportunity to learn or practice your skimboarding and paddleboarding skills. 

“A few of us were talking at the June chamber of commerce meeting about how we have great events in June and July, but there is nothing in August,” said event chair Ruth Higgins. “We were discussing how great of a beach it is for flying kites, and Gail Walker at Paddle and Peddle [Adventures] said they had been discussing creating an event centered on paddleboarding and skimboarding. So we decided to combine the two and invite people to enjoy the bay one more time this summer.”

The festival will kick off on Saturday, August 17 at 10 a.m. with a kite-building class hosted by Northwest Park and Recreation District 2. The class is open to children ages 5 to 12 and there is a limit of 40 participants.

Skimboarding expert Jeff Blotsky will be on hand to provide instruction from 10 a.m. to noon and will give demonstrations throughout the weekend. “He’s very knowledgeable and willing to teach others what he knows and share his love of the sport.”

The two-day celebration of sea, sky and surf will continue on Sunday, August 18 with kayak and stand-up paddleboard races in the bay.

Higgins encourages participants to bring their own kites, boards and boats, but if you need a purchase or a rental, that will be available as well. 

“Skimboards and kites are available for purchase at Paddle and Pedal Adventures, Beach Basket Yarns and Gifts or the Bay Center Market,” Higgins said. “If you want to rent a paddleboard or kayak, those are available at Paddle and Pedal as well.”

Registration for the event and prizes begins at 9 a.m. in the WorldMark building at 7826 Birch Bay Drive, across from Via Birch Bay Café.  

“This event really rounds out a summer of fun on the beach in Birch Bay,” Higgins said. 

For more information, and a complete list of events, visit birchbaychamber.com or call 360/271-5004.