Venue Northern Area Playing Fields, District 12, Washington
Tyne and Wear, England
Don't miss the Sunderland International Kite Festival on July 7 and 8 in Washington, Sunderland. With its unique blend of music, entertainment and above all... kites . it's the biggest event of its kind in the country and one of the most popular throughout the world.
Alongside the main attraction of the kiteflying, theres a fantastic international music programme, unusual street theatre, an arts and crafts fayre and plenty of activities for children.
This wonderful free festival regularly attracts an audience of over 70,000 people to the Northern Area Playing Fields in Washington and offers an exciting time for the whole family each day from 11am - 5pm.
All photographs by Franco Mammana
What Ray Bethell said after his visit
Since it first began in 1986, the two-day Sunderland International Kite Festival has become well established on the kite calendar attracting kite makers and fliers all over the world.
This year's festival features specialist kite makers from Holland, Japan, Belguim, France, Germany, China, Switzerland, USA and the UK who will be filling the sky above Washington with their wonderful creations. Displays each day include 2 line stunt kites, 4-line Revolution kites, buggying and powerkiting along with the huge collection of single line kites in all shapes and sizes. The unique hand painted kites, which make up the European Air Gallery collection will be displayed on site by the North East Kite Fliers and the original Friendship Kite, featured each year since 1986 will be flown at 2pm on Sunday.
SUNDERLAND ECHO INTERNATIONAL MUSIC MARQUEE
Sponsored by the Sunderland Echo, this marquee features an exciting programme of music and dance managed by regional specialists Folkworks with music from around the world including;
Black Umfolosi, the hugely popular 'a capella' singing and dance group from Zimbabwe, Salsa Celtica with a fusion of fiery South American rhythms with Celtic folk, and Daily Planet with their unusual cocktail of styles with a bluegrass flavour. Listening to them is like taking a ride on a roller coaster.
The A-Z of street theatre - from the Awesome to the Zany!
Where else can you see acrobats, stiltwalkers and wacky police on emus? Australian duo the Alice Springs Desert Patrol, Fair Play, the De Ramos, David Holder and Circo Rum Ba Ba combine the ludicrous with the impossible to produce a unique spectacle.
The international food marquee offers a range of cuisine from Japan, India, Spain and Italy together with traditional English teas. Here you can enjoy a curry with an Irish Jig or a plate of noodles to a soundtrack of American Bluegrass.
ARTS & CRAFTS FAYRE
The ever-popular Arts & Crafts Fayre will once again be a feature of this years festival. With quality arts and crafts on sale, hand-made by artists and crafts people from around our region; this marquee is always one of the busiest.
All sorts for children of all ages; including inflatables, fairground rides and a chance to make a kite of your own or try your hand at cricket in a specially designed space with practice nets and advice from the professionals.
HOW TO GET THERE by car
The Northern Area Playing Fields are situated in Washington, District 12, on the A195 just south of the A1(M) intersection.
Map including car parks available
Supervised car parking £2.00 per car
Usworth School - short walk to the festival site
Car park will be signposted from the main
Official web site : www.sunderland.gov.uk/kitefestival
( 44 (0)191 514 1235