National Cherry Blossom Festival’s Kite Fly remotely connects the community

Kites soar at the Blossom Kite Fly. (Courtesy National Cherry Blossom Festival)
WTOP's Jason Fraley previews the Blossom Kite Fly (Part 1)

The National Cherry Blossom Festival typically brings between 30,000 and 40,000 folks to the annual Blossom Kite Festival, but the pandemic has altered that tradition.

“We’re not encouraging people to go to the Mall this year,” Festival President and CEO Diana Mayhew told WTOP, so instead, the Blossom Kite Fly invites you to participate from your own backyard.

“We wanted to still be able to have people connect and enjoy the kite-flying activities,” Mayhew said. “Go out, get your kite, fly in your own backyard or local parks.”

If you visit a local park, be sure to follow COVID-19 precautions.

“Some of the local parks are encouraging people to come, but limited to 25 people,” Mayhew said. “We are definitely asking people to adhere to all health guidelines, wear your mask, socially distance.”

Thousands of people from 46 states and five countries have already registered for free online, where you can buy T-shirts and official Cherry Blossom Festival kites, as well as kite-making and kite-flying demonstrations “and get a lot of fun little goodies,” Mayhew said.

Wings Over Washington Kite Club will demonstrate kite-building techniques.

“You need to make it a little tight with that crossbar,” Mayhew said. “The crossbar is the key for me when I’m making our kites. It’s what helps it fly.”

Post on social media with the hashtags #BlossomKiteFly and #StepIntoSpring.

“We want to know where people are flying the kites,” Mayhew said. “We are hoping that folks become the festival this year. When you’re out there flying a kite, take a picture, share it on social media so we can really get the essence of where people are.”

It’s the perfect way to boost your spirits after a rough pandemic year.

“There are so many mental health benefits to flying a kite,” Mayhew said. “Just like the trees themselves, they bring the spirit of hope and renewal in springtime. … Having that kite fly up in the sky on a beautiful day with your family around you just helps express that spirit of hope … knowing that great things are right around the corner.”

The Blossom Kite Fly is presented by Otsuka America Pharmaceutical, Inc.

WTOP's Jason Fraley previews the Blossom Kite Fly (Part 2)

Listen to our full conversation here.

Jason Fraley

Hailed by The Washington Post for “his savantlike ability to name every Best Picture winner in history," Jason Fraley began at WTOP as Morning Drive Writer in 2008, film critic in 2011 and Entertainment Editor in 2014, providing daily arts coverage on-air and online.

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