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Chinese Kite Festival set

By Staff | Apr 10, 2014

Richard Loera shows a collection of kites he has found from around the world.

LAHAINA – Robert Loera, former U.S. stunt-kite champion, will be the featured presenter at the second annual Chinese Kite Festival at the Wo Hing Museum in Lahaina.

The festival will be held on Friday and Saturday, April 11-12, from 1 to 8 p.m., with the Wo Hing Museum opening at 10 a.m. Admission to the museum and the festival is free.

Loera will conduct a kite-making workshop and share his stories and love of kites from 5 to 8 p.m. both days. Originally from San Diego, Loera used to work at his dad’s kite shops during his early 20s. At first, he just thought “kites were kites,” but then, several years later, he saw his dad’s collection of miniature kites (under one-inch long and beautifully painted). He also saw the film “Kite Runner,” which had mesmerizing images of kite fighting.

After that, he was hooked, and for years traveled widely participating in kite festivals around the world. Twenty-seven years ago, he opened Kite Fantasy at Lahaina Cannery Mall, which is now named Maui Toy Works with additional locations at the Pioneer Inn and Whalers Village.

The festival will also feature a box kite-making demonstration by local artist Richard Kenny from 5 to 8 p.m. both days.

Dr. Busaba Yip will present a powerpoint titled “Story of Ancient Kites” at 2 and 6 p.m.

Chinese knot tying with Brenda Wong will be held on Saturday from 1 to 3 p.m.

Fu Lin Chinese Restaurant will be selling food both days from 6 to 8 p.m.

Scheduled entertainment includes a fan and sword performance between 4 and 6 p.m. on Friday, followed by demonstrations of Tai Chi and Martial Arts by Chris Bilotta.

On Saturday, Cory Williams will demonstrate Tai Chi and Martial Arts from 5 to 8 p.m., and Hong Zhou will perform on the erhu, a traditional Chinese instrument, both days from 5 to 8 p.m.

The Wo Hing Museum grounds will be decorated with large, colorful, traditional Chinese kites made from bamboo and silk, including a dragon kite over 30 feet in length.

Come and make a kite, learn about the ancient art of kite flying or buy one of the many unique and unusual kites that will be for sale.

The second annual Chinese Kite Festival is presented by Lahaina Restoration Foundation and supported by the Hawaii Tourism Authority, county Office of Economic Development and the Wo Hing Society.

For more information, call Lahaina Restoration Foundation at 661-3262.