The dates have been set for the next St Annes Kite Festival – and organisers have pledged that it will be bigger and better than ever.
This year’s two-day event. the fourth held annually in July, attracted an estimated 15,000 visitors, despite its second day being plagued by heavy rain.
The Festival has quickly established itself as one of the top events of its kind in the country since being introduced in 2012.
This year, it proved more popular than ever as its shifted from the area of beach to the south of the pier from the northern section it had occupied previously and music was incorporated for the first time, with a variety of acts performing on the adjacent promenade bandstand.
Car parks and cafes were packed as crowds flocked to the seafront, to the delight of organisers, tourism and business leaders.
Plans are already well in hand for next year’s event, which will be held on July 30 and 31- and the aim is to add even more exciting features, organisers’ spokesman pat May told a meeting of St Annes Chamber of Trade.
“We hope to do more and more and will be working more closely then ever with Fylde and St Annes Town Council’s said Mr May.
“We want to fully utilise the promenade and possibly have a display of classic cars to the south of the main beach area while the RNLI have expressed an interested in switching their open day to the Sunday of the Festival.
“Music will again play a part - that went down very well even in the rain on the Sunday this year - and we would like to look at incorporating street theatre in the town centre as well as on the seafront.
“But it all takes finance and, as a non-profit making organisation, we are looking for as much support as possible.”
Mr May said the switch from the north beach to the south had proved particularly popular in providing easier access for the disabled, families with buggies and the elderly.
“The sand dunes to the north meant restricted access for those with mobility difficulties and the feedback about the switch was very positive,” he said.
Coun Cheryl Little, chairman of Fylde Council’s tourism and leisure committee as well as St Annes Town Council’s Leisure and community committee, said: “The Kite Festival is a wonderful event and both councils are to look into how we can help make it an even greater success next year and beyond. The beach is St Annes’ prime asset and a Festival which makes the most of that is ideal for the town, We were delighted with the numbers it attracted this year and it is a key event as we look to promote St Annes as a family resort.”