August 22, 2007
Europe in Canada:
Dieppe, New Brunswick

The scenic city of Dieppe in New Brunswick long ago partnered with the Dieppe of France that rests on the English Channel. Dieppe-France hosts an enormous kite event every two years, so it made sense for Dieppe-Canada to take alternate years and start to do the same.

The goal is to build the largest kite event, with the broadest international participation in North America.

Dieppe Fields

This year, seventeen national teams were represented. Calling them seventeen countries would be a bit of a stretch with Tasmania and Australia both there, England, Scotland and Wales each with their own space, Haiti represented by a couple of guys from Boston, and a separate booth for Louisiana. But the point was to present cultures and kiters, not to purchase air tickets.

Each team was assigned a tent and set up a display for the public.

Germany France Italy Mexico Tasmania Australia South Africa Canada USA Hati Netherlands Switzerland

Demonstrations – alternating between sport kites and kite art – were featured in the main arena. Kite art flew in front of each of the team tents. Kids' workshops ran all week. And we flew larger kites in the background.

In a addition, a large number of Canadian and US fliers arrived to help fill the skies. Sometimes it was hard to tell who was a special invited guest, and who was a special flier who just showed up on their own.

Dieppe Kites Dieppe Kites Dieppe Kites Dieppe Kites Dieppe Kites Dieppe Kites Dieppe Kites Dieppe Kites Dieppe Kites Dieppe Kites Dieppe Kites Dieppe Kites Dieppe Kites

Saturday night, the event presented a night fly.

Now I’m not a huge night fly fan. You work hard all day to organize a show and it isn’t always fun coming back to do it in the dark. Flying larger kites can be more dangerous. And packing up without any light is tedious.

But that said, the night fly in Dieppe was as good as any I’ve ever seen. Large spotlights and a good sound system helped create a magical atmosphere. And huge crowds came out to take in the “fireworks on strings”.

Sunset

Susie and I observed that Dieppe ran much better this time than two years ago. The flying fields were much better organized. The park had matured which means we had actual grass. Transportation ran on schedule and meals were easier to get to. Those kinds of things are important when you are on the field for 12 hour stretches.

But the time spent flying was good time.

Dieppe has the distinct feeling of a European festival. That’s not just because so many people speak French there. The participating teams, event organization, and flying styles have a European feel as well. Basically, they are emulating their French friends and doing so well.

Susie and I flew home Monday. On Thursday we drive up to Long Beach in Washington State. It’s a busy two week period, but there are worse things than spending time on a broad windy field with friends.

Squid and Ray

Squid and Ray

We have two kites – made in New Zealand and hardly flown at all. One is the Mid-Sized Ray and the other a Mid-Squid. Both came back to us though a convoluted series of circumstances. But that may mean an opportunity for you!

Because these were both produced in the Peter Lynn Factory rather than by GKPI, the current price would be about $1900 each. But we’ll let either of these pieces go for just $1100 each. That's still $300 less than what we'd charge for a new Gomberg model.

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