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.
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…
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.
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