ENID — Enid has made a name for itself with its annual Kites Over Enid and attempts to break a world record for number of kites flown simultaneously.
The event accomplished a North American record in 2010, which played a part in American Kite Fliers Association bringing its annual national convention to Enid next week. The 35th annual convention will be Monday through Oct. 6, and about 200 kite enthusiasts are expected to attend.
There will be five marked flying fields behind Autry Technology Center, 1201 W. Willow. Fields 1-4 are for AKA members only, and the public is encouraged to watch all events. Field 5 is a public flying field, where the public can bring kites and fly them along with AKA members. If you come to the flying fields, AKA suggests you wear a hat, use sunscreen, do not wear dress shoes and bring a lawn chair to be able to sit and relax while watching the kites soar over Enid.
The AKA convention is an annual gathering of kite enthusiasts, artists and competitors. Activities include educational workshops, games, displays and grand national competitions for kite making and sport kite flying.
Marcy Jarrett, ECVB director, said she is excited the kite convention is coming to Enid. Jarrett said she expects 150 to 175 people, with more arriving toward the end of the week for the awards ceremonies.
“They will be competing starting Tuesday afternoon, and it continues through Saturday. This is a big deal, it really is,” Jarrett said.
She said the public may go fly kites at any time during the convention. Events featured at the convention include sport kites and team kite ballet, which is choreographed to music. Jarrett said participants had to win other competitions to participate in the ones in Enid.
“This is a family activity. Grab the kids, and after school, go out and watch them at Autry Tech,” Jarrett said. “I hope the public will take advantage of the opportunity to fly kites, have fun, get outdoors and see some amazing kites.”
Jarrett said the convention is here because Enid has a steady wind and nice fields behind Autry Tech.
Brent Kisling, executive director of Enid Regional Development Alliance, said there are two significant ways to look at the convention. It is the first time he can remember when Enid hosted a national convention.
Secondly, the event started with Kites Over Enid and the attempt to set the world record for kites in the air at one time.