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International Kite Festival, Berck-sur-Mer, France


Every year in the seaside resort of Berck-sur-Mer on the Opal Coast of Pas de Calais a kite festival takes place – the Rencontres Internationales de Cerfs-Volants or International Kite Festival.

No ordinary festival this – it attracts teams from around the world to the breezy beach at Berck-sur-Mer where exhibitions and demonstrations of extraordinary kite flying skills take place.

The vast sandy beach is where famous aviator Louis Bleriot organized the first international competition aéroplages, the ancestor of sand-yachting, in 1907 and where aviation pioneers the Caudron brothers carried out their first flight tests in the early 1900s.

At the beach hundreds and hundreds of kites are tied to weights along the edge of the gentle sea awaiting their turn at stardom. Brightly coloured monsters, the Simpson family, giant fish and enormous lady birds look down on those on the beach and in the town – a glorious sight with a real wow factor.

The esplanade is lined with tents and stalls selling great regional produce and artisan made goods as well as lots of great street food and there are some great brasseries and restaurants in the town.

Daily from Saturday 13 to Sunday 21 April, 2013 on the beach at Berck-sur-Mer

10.00: free flight, welcome to the teams participating

14.00-18.00: Mégateam – simultaneous kite flying with lots of pilots; demonstration by teams including Rokkakus, combat kite flying originating from Japan;  wind manufacturing garden – quirky and extravagant inventions to harness the wind; workshops – learn how to make and fly a kite with experienced pilots; flight school – tips and advice from the professionals and more…

Innovative and giant kites with wow factor at Berck

Sunday, April 14 – 12:30 am: Kite Parade

Saturday, April 20 –22h.00: night flight kite display and fireworks

This is a great day out for everyone that appeals to all ages – the sight of those enormous (up to 30metres) kites flying serenely over the beach, the amazing demonstrations by the best pilots in the world, the carnival atmosphere – unbeatable.

Fabulous kites of all sizes at Berck

Practical Information for the International Kite Festival, Berck-sur-Mer

From Calais by car is approximately 45 minutes

There is plenty of car parking space in the town

The organisers advise not to bring pets as there are so many people in the town for this event.

Caravan and motorhome sites are available – see the tourist office website for more information.

Berck-sur-Mer Tourist Office: www.berck-tourisme.com

Rencontres Internationales de Cerfs-Volants website http://www.cerf-volant-berck.com

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