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Author Topic: Questions about Washington State Kite Festival?  (Read 1810 times)
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Dolittle
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« on: July 03, 2016, 11:11 AM »

Hi, We are considering going to the WSKI in Long Beach, Washington, from August 15 thru 21.  We have never been to a big kite festival and I have a few questions about logistics, please, if anyone can share some advice we'd appreciate it.  I know it's a little late to plan, but I'll keep my fingers crossed that our trip will come together (if not this year then next year).

1) Where would be the best and most convenient accommodations (setting aside cost considerations) to the flying fields?  Do you have a favorite place?  Are there houses to rent that are right on the beach?

2) How do you transport kites to the flying fields?  By car? or by toting your gear by hand? or some other way?  Is close parking available?  Is Uber available?

3) If you want to fly your kites at the festival do you have to get out early in the day and stake out a parking spot and a flying spot?  Or, if it's too difficult to get near the official festival, and you want to fly kites, can you do it just anywhere along the beach?

4)  Anything else we should think about?  Any special events we should absolutely not miss?

Thanks so much.
Judy

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skb
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« Reply #1 on: July 03, 2016, 12:00 PM »

Accomodations-be sure to sort by town

There is free parking near the beach, but you do have to carry the kites from your car over some dunes and trails to get to the beach. There are several access points to choose from, and a boardwalk that is easier to walk on than soft sand.

It's a long beach, there are some places with lots of fliers and other places you can have to yourself.

It's a good idea to walk the boardwalk and get a sense of how it's laid out.  Map

There is a large kite field for serious kites and invited guests, a competition/special events/demonstration field, secondary field for other events and a sport kite field. Lots of people fly along the tidal beach, the sand is hard pack and easier to walk on, but be aware of waves and tides.

It's typically busiest Thursday to Saturday, earlier in the week it's not nearly as crowded and it's easy to find a spot. Walking up or down the boardwalk will get you away from the crowds that are spread on either side of Bolstad Ave. access.

Wear layers, it can be hot and sunny down town Long Beach and be foggy, damp and chilly by the water.

I've been to around 20 WSIKFs and always have a great time, there is lots to do, lots of kites to see and people to meet.
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tpatter
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« Reply #2 on: July 03, 2016, 02:28 PM »

I like to stay here.   If you do, you don't even need your car - just a 2 minute walk to the beach and the festival is right there.  Rooms are basic, but they were clean with comfortable beds.  They also have what I think is the best food in the area, free bicycles, and beer in the lobby which is nice at the end of a day of flying.


http://www.adrifthotel.com



Or the Worldmark, which is nice.  The other place I like is a few miles north but right on the beach. 

I love the Friday night fireworks on the beach and sport kite demos best, but there is always something going on.
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Dolittle
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« Reply #3 on: July 04, 2016, 06:39 AM »

Thank you both for the excellent tips and guidance.  Exactly the kind of info I was looking for. 

It looks like a spectacular festival and one not to be missed.

J.

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NWFlyer
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« Reply #4 on: July 05, 2016, 10:19 AM »

I'll offer back that trying to find a place to stay during WSIKF at this time may be tough.  Don't delay if you're serious about coming.  Many of the local hotels book a year in advance which is an indication of how many folks like this festival.  Keep making calls and eventually you'll run across something, but you may have to settle for traveling a little to and from the festival site.  My family and I look forward to this all year - it's one of the best west coast kite festivals without a doubt.  There's something unique going on every day and as indicated, it kind of ramps up throughout the week in terms of bodies on the beach and kites in the air. 

Transporting kites to the beach is managed a variety of ways.  The dune sand is usually pretty soft so a beach cart with large flotation tires works good if you have that many kites to haul and stuff to bring.  Bags slung over shoulders is the way most seem to do it.  You can't drive cars down to the beach (thankfully, or it would be mayhem), so you need to be pretty much self contained with what you haul or carry. 

Areas for single line kites, dual line and quad kites are usually roped off, and for the most part seem to work.  If you're dual or quad line fliers you'll find it easy to jump in with others.  Depending on your tolerance for playing with others, you can always move down the beach away from the main concentration and find plenty of room to fly whatever you like. 

I have a hard time identifying "Can't Miss" events, since they're all fun to me.  All are great opportunities for taking pictures or chatting up folks with kites that catch you eye.  There are mass ascensions of many kinds, there are kite competitions for kite makers and flyers both, kid's events, and so on.  Get on their web site and download the latest program or last year's and you'll get a better sense of it.  Happy to offer more specific answers if you need 'em.
NWFlyer
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Dolittle
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« Reply #5 on: July 06, 2016, 08:06 AM »

Thx, NWFlyer.  Always good to hear from veteran visitors.  Excellent advice from all of you.

I read thru the program and have been calling places on the lists, and as we suspected they all seem to be booked. 

My sister lives in Seattle so my fall back plan is I'll fly out to her home and get her to drive down part way and stay the night, and at least get to the festival for one day this year.  After I've checked out the event I'll know better where to book for next year.

I got the idea to go from looking at Glenn Mitchell's videos of the festival on you-tube. So thx for those, Glenn, if you are on this forum.

It looks like Long Beach has some pretty good wind.
Best, J.


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Oldgoat
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« Reply #6 on: July 06, 2016, 08:39 AM »

We also have been attending WSIKF for over 2 decades and I kind of thought "Oh Oh" when I read your post.  As mentioned, finding accommodations this late is tough.  That being said, you might want to continue checking as there may be last minute cancellations.  I know it's hard to make plans on that basis but ..... 
I can't add much to the advice already offered.
 Smiley
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