April is National Kite Month and our annual Chinese Kite Festival with Kite Flying will celebrate the wide world of kites over four days this year: April 13, 14, 15 and 16. This family fun event will feature kite making with a master kite artist from Colorado, kite demonstrations and presentations, kite flying with kite masters as well as Chinese cultural arts, foods and kids’ craft activities.
On Thursday, April 13 from 4 to 7 pm, the public is invited to take part in a community kite making project at Lahaina Cannery Mall. Master Kite Artist George Peters of Airworks Studio in Colorado will be leading a team to design and build the largest Chinese serpent kite ever seen in Lahaina. This kite will be completed over the course of two days, and sent up into the air on Saturday during kite flying festivities.
Wo Hing Museum & Cookhouse in Lahaina is the place to be on Friday, April 14 between 10 am and 8 pm where admission is free all day. During the traditional Chinese Kite Festival, there will be displays of ancient and modern kites from around the world; kites are available for purchase. Presentations will be made by Dr. Busaba Yip on Ancient Chinese Kites, and by George Peters on Modern Kite Flying at 2 pm and again at 6 pm. From 3 to 8 pm, festival-goers are encouraged to help complete the giant Chinese serpent kite. Kids can explore colors and shapes of kites to design and make their own kite under Peters’ tutelage. Colored paper and bamboo dowels can be used to create one-of-a-kind kite structures.
In the garden at Wo Hing Museum & Cookhouse, teas will be served and Chinese food by Only ‘Ono BBQ will be offered for sale between 4 and 8 pm. Menu items include: Char Siu Manapua for $3, Char Siu Chinese BBQ plate or Crispy Roast Pork plate for $10. During this time, Brenda Wong will demonstrate traditional Chinese knot tying for guests.
On Saturday, April 15, take the family out for Kite Flying Day on Lahaina Cannery Mall’s south lawn at the intersection of Honoapi‘ilani Hwy. 30 and Keawe Street. From 9 to 11 am, kids can try their hands at designing and making a kite as instructed by Kite Artist George Peters. There will be displays of colorful banners and unique kites from Peters’ Airworks Studio. The inaugural flight of the giant Chinese serpent kite made by the community will take place at 11 am. Feel free to bring your own kites to fly and enjoy an air show by kite masters until 2 pm. It’s all free!
A bonus day on Sunday, April 16 will feature a free kite flying air show by kite masters, Robert Loera of Hawai‘i Kitefliers Association and George Peters of Airworks Studio between 11 am and 2 pm. The sky over Lahaina Recreation Center’s park at the intersection of Honoapi‘ilani Hwy. 30 and Shaw Street will be painted with acrobatic and artistic kites.
Lahaina Restoration Foundation’s Wo Hing Cultural Director Busaba Yip, Ph.D said, “Our annual Kite Festival brings all kite lovers together with our community. The joy of kite flying is not only for the ones who fly kites but also for those who watch them. We invite the whole family to come out and have a good time!”
Chinese Kite Festival with Kite Flying is presented by Wo Hing Society and Lahaina Restoration Foundation. The festival is sponsored by Hawai‘i Tourism Authority, the County of Maui Office of Economic Development, Maui Toy Works, Lahaina Cannery Mall and Pioneer Inn. For updates or an event program, call Wo Hing Museum at 808-661-5553 or contact us.