A day in the life: Kitty Hawk Kites Kids Day

Written by: Emma Turnbull, Marketing Intern

One of my biggest jobs as an events crew member is helping run Kids Days each week at our various locations. This aspect of the job is particularly fun for a couple reasons. First, I have some degree of freedom to shape these events into what I want them to be. Also, once the grunt work of set-up is done, I get to spend the day playing with toys, making crafts, and talking to children about everything from their vacations to their families, their pets, superheroes, and other childhood randomness. Basically I get to be a kid again for a few hours. While there’s honestly no “typical” day on the job, here’s a taste of what a Kids Day could look like.

Wednesday is the middle of the week, hump day, and most importantly Nags Head Kids Day! Kids Day at our flagship store in Jockey’s Ridge Crossing is typically the most crowded, highest energy event of the week, and in my humble opinion, a big bundle of fun. It’s an early day, but totally worth it to bring joy of a Kitty Hawk Kites Experience to so many kiddos.

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Toy Demos with Chip

I’ll usually start my day at the office, finishing up some last second preparations. Depending on the day and the week, this could mean anything from printing flyers for upcoming events, restocking crafts that have been used up, or loading the van with any and all toys and games to entertain the masses.

Next comes set-up. Not surprisingly, this is the least exciting aspect of the day, but that’s not to say it isn’t completely essential to the success of Kids Day. First, the tent canopies and tables go up, followed by the smaller objects like pamphlets, flyers, crafting materials, and toys. The final step is making our set up look spiffy. We go for a “family friendly and lots of fun” feel. It features display kites hanging up, numerous games spread across the lawn, stations for face painting by the members of The Lost Colony cast and tie dying by Life on a Sandbar, and a table filled with enough toys and bubbles to entertain a bus full of rowdy school children.

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Scaling the Rock Wall in Kitty Hawk Kites

After set-up, it’s not long until the real fun begins. By 10:00am on the dot (sometimes even earlier), our tables are surrounded by families eagerly anticipating whatever fun in the sun (or shade) we can offer them. One of the coolest and most unique things about the Kids Days is that I’ve found they really do appeal to kids of all ages. The littlest ones get endless delight from having their faces painted, chasing around edible bubbles (yes, you read that correctly… candy bubbles do exist… and we sell them!), and coloring and assembling their very own kites. The slightly older crowd enjoy trying their hand at the skill toys and games like Kan Jam, and every adventurous teenager finds it hard to resist the chance to ride the mechanical shark. Plus, the appeal of tie dying, wax hands, an indoor rock wall, and a splash blaster (think of a reverse dunk tank, where the water sprays up at you) transcends age.

As an outdoor event, Kids Days are heavily dependent on weather. Rain or shine, the show will go on, but even in the few short weeks I’ve been here, I’ve seen how the weather refuses to be ignored. Kite flying in particular can be challenging in anything besides a perfect breeze. That being said, no matter what the conditions, barring a hurricane-level squall, we will find a way to have fun for Kids Day; it just becomes a question of what type of fun the weather will allow. If it’s overcast, sprinkling rain, and 70 degrees, the Splash Blaster probably looks a lot less appealing. But learning how to use juggling sticks under the shelter of a canopy, or designing and coloring your very own kite to take out on the next nice day are just as fun as ever.

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Wax Hands have been a Kids Day favorite this year!

Just like all the other new experiences Kitty Hawk Kites has provided, Kids Days have brought a combination of fun and learning. And while there can be some stressful moments when a rush of 15 children and their families all show up at the same time wanting to try 10 different activities, I have just as much fun with Kids Days as the kids do. How could you not have a great time with a job that involves 4 hours of crafts, demoing toys, and playing games with a bunch of happy, excited vacationers?

KidsDaySHARK

Stanley the bucking Shark in Kitty Hawk Surf Company is always a huge laugh

After a few hours of socializing, entertaining, and teaching, we wrap up Kids Day. Everything gets broken down and packed back up into the van, and I return to the office for a few more hours of work before the day officially ends. Tiredness from a day out in the heat sets in, as does pride about a successful event, and excitement to do it all again next week. Kitty Hawk Kites Kids Days are offered weekly at select locations along the beach.

You can come play with us on Tuesdays at the Kitty Hawk Kites in Avon from 10am – 12pm, Waves Village Watersports Resort from 3pm – 5pm, and Kitty Hawk Kites in Monteray Plaza in Corolla from 2pm – 4pm and on Wednesdays at Jockey’s Ridge Crossing from 10am – 2pm, and Kitty Hawk Kites in Hatteras Landing from 2pm – 4pm. Information on all of our events including kids day can be found at kittyhawk.com/events.

A day in the life: The 34th Annual Rogallo Kite Festival

Written by: Emma Turnbull- 2016 Marketing Intern

It was a beautiful weekend for the 34th Annual Rogallo Kite Festival! Typical with any kite festival, the wind was not completely cooperative (too light on Friday and too strong on Saturday and Sunday), but it was good enough to get the kites up and give everybody an awesome scene to admire atop Jockey’s Ridge.

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Rogallo Fest ran on Dunkin’


This was my first kite festival as a Kitty Hawk Kites marketing intern, and I’ll admit I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect when the weekend began. I obviously knew we’d be flying some kites, but I didn’t realize just how massive and impressive they’d be. For instance, our octopus, affectionately dubbed Squiggs, is 100 feet long! As you can imagine, trying to launch and take down Squiggs in strong wind was a bit of a challenge. There were even a couple times it took 5 people to wrangle him. Once he got under control though, he was quite a sight to see, with his huge yellow body and his tentacles flapping around in the clear blue sky. A couple other personal favorites of mine were our giant purple eel and the rainbow koi fish, which both slithered around in the air to the point where they looked like they were swimming against the blue sky. It’s amazing how much of a show can be put on by a bit of cloth, so strong line, and a few poles.

Squiggs

Squiggs, the 100ft Octopus- a personal favorite.


Now, I’m by no means an expert yet, but this weekend taught me a lot and gave me a sneak peek into the world of kite flying. There’s a lot that goes into flying such huge kites. You don’t just need the kite and a line; you need the kite, bridle, line set, carabiner, and sand anchor, and a bit of expert know-how. I learned about the safety when flying large kites, how to tie a larks head, and daisy chain just to name a few of my new skills. Basically, there’s a lot more that goes into flying show kites than I could have ever imagined.

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Not a bad view


As an event crew member, my weekend consisted of a combination of physical labor, interacting with children, and teaching people about kites. To be fair, I didn’t shoulder a huge portion of the physical labor given my small size and utter lack of muscles, but that’s not to say I didn’t pitch in whenever and however I could. One of the highlights for me was set up Saturday morning, when I was helping John Harris, owner and founder of Kitty Hawk Kites, prepare and launch numerous large kites. It was surreal to be able to learn so much from a man who is such an expert in the field.

RevSpinIn addition to the eye catching show kites, visible from across the sound in Manteo, the Rogallo Kite Festival included free stunt kite lessons, and a Revolution Kite Competition. I spent much of my time tending to the larger kites and unfortunately didn’t get to take a lesson, but I did get to talk to many stunt kite flyers, from visitors trying it out for the first time to experienced flyers who travel the country showing of their skills. Watching the performances from afar, the twirls, spins, dives, and other tricks executed but the Revolutions and other stunt kites were every bit as impressive and transfixing as Squiggs’ tentacles in their own way. I look forward to trying it out for myself at the next festival in July!

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Revolution Invitation Winners with Rev Rep, Lolly Hadziki, and John Harris


Between digging holes for anchors, talking to curious vacationers on Jockey’s Ridge, and relaunching kites that the wind took down, the days actually sped by. There’s no denying it was hard work, and being out in the sun for 3 full days certainly took its toll. (I have the awkward suntan/burn lines to prove it). There were moments I just wanted to stop what I was doing, lie down, and fall asleep on the spot. But for every funk, there was also a moment equally as funny or inspiring or beautiful to break me out of it. Like the moment a huge kite would get launched and I would just watch it float upward so peacefully into the bright blue sky. Or seeing a kid’s face light up as they watched the koi fish “swimming” through the air. Or honestly just taking a step back and taking in the whole panorama: a beautiful sunny day on the sand dunes with a bunch of colorful kites floating overhead and the ocean in the distance. I now understand peoples’ fascination with kites a whole lot better.

If you missed the Rogallo Festival, don’t fret… The Wright Kite Festival hosted at The Wright Brothers’ National Memorial July 16-17 will feature many of the same show kites (possibly even a few more), free stunt kite lessons, and kite making workshops for the kids. You may also check out this awesome Rogallo Festival recap video below:

BrewTag Beautiful

First BrewTag launch of the day. The Kitty Hawk Kites glider established a new BrewTag world record of 20', soon to be shattered by Loonies on Tab.

First BrewTag launch of the day. The Kitty Hawk Kites glider established a new BrewTag world record of 20′, soon to be shattered by Loonies on Tab.

What a great day we had last Saturday at BrewTag at the Nags Head Event Site. Beautiful weather, a great turnout and a BrewTag world record flight of 20’9”.

Postponed from its original October 3 date, the 1st Annual BrewTag was a celebration worth waiting for. Lots of local beer on tap, great music from the Jug Tucker Band and Soul House Revival, and it was all going to a good cause—the Rogallo Foundation.

The purpose of the Rogallo Foundation is to preserve the legacy Francis Rogallo and to keep the dream of flight for everyone alive.

The highlight of the day day, of course was the the flight of the BrewTag gliders. OK. Maybe flight isn’t the right word . . . maybe attempts at flight would be better. There was a brisk breeze blowing from the ENE and when the gliders launched from the 20’ tower, the wind got under the nose of the aircraft and they didn’t do so well.

Interestingly the two designs based on Francis Rogallo’s flexible wing did the best with the Loonies on Tap team setting a new BrewTag world record of 20’9” en route  to taking home top honors.

The great entertainment is not done on the Outer Banks even with November approaching. This coming Saturday—that’s Halloween—the Dare County Arts Council’s Artrageous, a celebration of the arts and kids, is happening at Rec Center in Kill Devil Hills.

This is definitely a family-friendly event with lots of creative activities for kids and Kitty Hawk Kites will be there with fun things to do. Festivities kick off at 10 a.m. and finish by 3:00 so there’s plenty of time for the kids to get ready to be ghosts, goblins, ghouls and witches.

BrewTag & More-OBX Upcoming Events

BrewTag

KhkbrewtagSaturday, October 24

Event Site, Nags Head

BrewTag is looking like it’s going to be a great time. The forecast calls for ideal conditions this Saturday, the teams of aeronautical engineers are ready to go and our mini kegs are lined up waiting for their chance to soar above the Outer Banks—or at least the Nags Head Event Site.

Sponsored by Kitty Hawk Kites, this one will have something for everyone—Kidzone for the kids, some beer for the adults and a lot of fun for all.

BrewTag is not the end of the fall event scene, though. Read on for some more great things to do in the coming weeks.

Artrageous

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Saturday, October 31

Rec Park, Kill Devil Hills

Rescheduled from September 26, the 26th Annual Artrageous is one of the best days imaginable for a family to spend time together. Put on by the Dare County Arts Council (DCAC), it’s a celebration of the arts on the Outer Banks.

Geared toward kids, it is a wonderful way for every one to smile giggle and laugh.

Outer Banks Marathon

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Friday-Sunday, November 6-8

The Outer Banks Marathon has become a great weekend for the whole family. Featuring fun runs, a 5K, 8K, half marathon and the marathon, it’s a weekend filled with lots for everyone to do.

The Marathon course is a beautiful run, starting on the Woods Road in Kitty Hawk and weaving through the heart of Kitty Hawk Woods. The course also passes by the Wright Brothers Monument, Nags Head Woods and Jockeys Ridge before ending in Manteo.

Outer Banks Veterans Writing Project

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Saturday-Sunday, November 11, 15

Sponsored by the DCAC, the Outer Banks Veterans Writing Project is geared specifically toward veterans, but it’s so important that we thought we would include it.

Ron Capps saw a lot of the worst that war can bring, and to heal himself he began to write. He has taken his skills and taught others how to put their experiences down on paper through the Veterans Writing Project which he founded.

The Writing Project is a two day event free to any veteran who served in any branch of the military. Through sponsorship the DCAC offers the course free of charge to 25 veterans every year.

For more information, contact Chris Sawain at the DCAC at 252-473-5558.

When Beer Kegs Fly

KHKbrewtagWhen beer kegs fly it will be BrewTag on the Outer Banks. Postponed from its original September 26 because of rain, the Kitty Hawk Kites sponsored event is back on track for Saturday, October 24.

The concept is simple: take a 1/6 keg—empty—attach wings to it and see how far it will fly. Held at the Outer Banks Event Site in Nags Head, there’s plenty of room for flight and we expect aeronautical engineers from all walks of life to try their hand at design.

The fun kicks off at noon and festivities will run until 6:00 p.m. Live music is on tap, as well as—on tap. Like any Kitty Hawk Kites event, it is family friendly with the Kidzone crew on hand to make sure faces are painted and kids have a great time.

Proceeds benefit the Rogallo Foundation.

BrewTag is not the only upcoming event at the Nags Head site. This coming Saturday—October 17, look for the 4th Annual Outer Banks Seafood Festival.

For 100s of years—maybe longer if we include the time of the Native Americans—the people who lived on the Outer Banks took their sustenance from the sea. The Seafood Festival celebrates that heritage with fresh local seafood prepared by local chefs and restaurants. The food is great, there’s plenty to drink, live music and lots to do.

With cooking demonstrations and talks about the history and culture of the Outer Banks the day truly does become a celebration of local history, culture and cuisine.

This is one the most popular festivals on the Outer Banks; maybe the most popular. There is no parking at the site. For information about where to park, check out the Outer Banks Seafood Festival website.