Issue 38: AKA Corner

Its Convention time again!

In just a few weeks, AKA members from around the country, the continent, and the world will convene in Seaside Oregon for one of the best kite events on the calendar.

Think of it like a combination of your favorite kite events.

  • If you like Fort Worden or the Maryland Kite Retreat, you’ll love our program of 30 workshops including lectures, rule seminars, and ‘make-and-take’ programs.
  • If you like the kitemaking contests of Long Beach, you’ll love the Grand National Kitemaking Competition which features the best artists and craftsman submitting kites they have made in 15 different categories.
  • If you like the sport kite competitions in Wildwood or MIKE, you’ll love our Grand Nations where top ranked fliers from our six conferences vie for honors and invitations to international events.
  • If you like the fighter kite contests of Newport, you’ll love meeting Fighters from across the country in three days of matches and eliminations.
  • If you like kite exhibits, you’ll love our Art Gallery, Aerial Photography Show, and Peoples Choice Exhibition.
  • If you like the mass ascensions of Grand Haven, you’ll be amazed at our five days of ascensions which fill the skies with as many as 400 kites.
  • If you like indoor flying, you’ll love the competitions and shows we have lined up.
  • If you enjoy grabbing bargains or treasures at local auctions, you’ll love the biggest of them all  the Great Kite Auction with moiré than 500 pieces in silent, loud, or bag-raffle bidding.
  • And if you like to party, you’ll love the two banquets, three receptions, and non-stop camaraderie of kiters that a convention offers.

Of course, the best thing at our annual gathering is the people you will meet there  new fiends and old ones.

I’m often asked why people need to pay to attend the AKA convention. That question surprises me since fliers often pay to register for kitemaking retreats, competitions, or functions. Every kite event costs money for permits, rooms, sound systems, and meals. At AKA, all costs are paid by members. And most of those members also volunteer in one way or another to help manage the event.

We welcome the public to come and watch the show. But if you are a serious flier, then we ask you to register. Because as a flier, you’ll be getting something special out of the event  even if you don’t compete.

This year we’re expecting guests from New Zealand, Australia, India, China, England, France, and of course, Canada. So it is an international convention. Our one disappointment is that we will not be offering buggy competition.  Fewer than five riders registered and insurance for buggy use was going to cost us over $1000. Everyone agreed that the cost was simply too high. Instead, buggy riders can enjoy Sunset Beach just a few miles north.

What else is there to do in Seaside??

  • Ten miles away is the winter encampment of Lewis and Clarke, now celebrating the 200th anniversary of their exploration of the West.
  • Just north is Long Beach and the World Kite Museum.
  • Thirty miles away in the heart of Oregon’s wine country is the Evergreen Aviation Museum where you will find Howard Hugh’s Spruce Goose, largest airplane in the world.
  • Just north of Portland is the Mount Saint Helens volcanic area. And just east is the Columbia Gorge with tall waterfalls and great kite surfing.
  • And of course, there is a spectacular coastline and great beach-front communities brimming with galleries, sights, and shopping.

Convention is a life-changing experience. Registration is still open on the AKA site. Come join us!!

David Gomberg