Global call for kite fest

St Annes Kite Festival could become a major international event according to the town's mayor.

Monday, 8th August 2016, 4:28 pm
Updated Monday, 8th August 2016, 5:29 pm
St Annes Kite Festival

This year’s festival, held over the last weekend on July, has been hailed as a bumper success, attracting thousands of visitors to the seaside town.

And Coun Cheryl Little, Mayor of St Annes, is hoping word will spread within the kite community to attract the world’s best to the Fylde coast sands.

She says overseas aces are already planning a 2017 return to the Fylde coast having heaped praise on the festival beach.

Coun Little said: “We had international visitors, from Kuwait, Singapore, California and Scotland.

“They said the beach lends itself perfectly to hosting a kite festival.

“We had people telling us it was better than the one they go to in France.”

The sands at Berck-sur-Mer in the Pas de Calais have been used for an international kite festival for the past 25 years.

And Coun Little is hoping, should word spread, St Annes can become just as big a name on the circuit.

She said: “People were telling us they were going to head over to France and extol the virtues of St Annes.

“Hopefully we’ll have even more of the world’s top kite flyers here next time around.

“We want them to know about the hospitality, the fantastic beach and the warm welcome they will get.

“We’d love to be able to call it the St Annes International Kite Festival and for it to become a big date on the calendar.”

This year’s kite festival, held on the same weekend as the St Annes Lifeboat Open Day, provided a major boost for the town, with visitor numbers smashing expectations.

Coun Little said: “One hotel had 30 people book in overnight.

“They just turned up and having seen the festival decided they want to stay.

“Marks and Spencer said it was the busiest they had ever seen since opening in St Annes.

“Add to that the fact we had more than 2,000 people taking part in the Trinity Colour Splash run on the beach and you can see what a success the weekend was.

“But we want it to be bigger and better, we want to attract more people to St Annes to support our local businesses and see what the town can offer.

“With an International Kite Festival I’m sure we can manage that.”

This year’s event included some of the world’s largest kites - Oscar the biggest teddy bear kite among them.