Kite-flyers meeting attracts thousands of enthusiasts

Kite-flyers meeting attracts thousands of enthusiasts

Kite flying is a lot more popular than one might think.

The presence of 5,000 flyers on Denmark’s Fanoe island proves this.

They are there for the 33rd International Kite Flyers Meeting.

Germany’s Wolfgang Schimmelpfennig organized the first meeting in 1985. Only 29 people showed up. Now the meeting is a three-day event—but many flyers stay for two weeks.

Every shape and style of kite can be seen there—fish, animals, flying tubes, traditional Japanese kites … kites that don’t even look like kites.

The island has perfect kite-flying weather—there is a constant, steady wind and enough beach that 5,000 kites can get airborne without colliding.

Schimmelpfennig is still the event organizer. He is thrilled to see that his tiny gathering is now international.

“We have this year people from Norway, we’ve got people from South America, we’ve got people from South Africa, Japan, China, Malaysia,” he said. “They come and like to fly their kites here because of the weather conditions. Fanoe is so perfect to fly their kites.”

The gathering is not commercial—everyone comes purely for the love of flying.

Schimmelpfennig does his best to explain the appeal.

“When the kite finally flies in the sky and rises and one feels the vibration in the kite line then one is happy and feels the passion of kite flying,” he said.

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