Issue 79: AKA Corner

34th annual AKA Convention and Grand Nationals

Are you ready for some serious kite flying, competition, camaraderie, workshops and the fabulous fly market? If so join the AKA in Wildwood New Jersey from September 26 till October 1, 2011 for the 34th Annual American Kitefliers Association Convention. For all kinds of information and registration forms go to:

This year the registration fee is the same as last year, $230 for the entire convention if you pay by the early bird deadline of August 14th, after that date you have to pay a little more so make sure you take advantage of the discount.

You can also register per day and there are also extra banquet tickets available. If you register for a day, be aware that you get admission to the day’s activities and events excluding banquets and Grand National Competitions.

(One day registrants may not compete in trophy or Grand National Competitions). Where else can you get an entire weeks activities along with 2 banquets for that price?

One of the real look forward to is the Great Kite Auction (loud, silent and bag raffle), where else do you get a chance to purchase such fabulous one of a kind kites and accessories. Not only does the AKA need you to bid high and bid often, we also need your donations to help make this the greatest auction ever.

To donate please use to the form at:

Or, contact Greg Lamoureux via email at David Hathaway

A big change is going to take place this year with the Trophies, a new design will be used for all competition awards, excluding awards such as the Edeikin, Lee Toy, Ingraham, and Presidential awards. Normally a wall hanging or dust collector is awarded and cherished, this year the winners of each category will receive a custom pennant that can displayed anyway you wish, you can even attach it (them) to a banner pole and fly it proudly at any event, instant bragging rights. The pennants will have the Convention Logo, Category, and sponsor on it and will come in 3 colors, gold, silver and bronze, just like the Olympics. I think these will be cherished for a long time and want to thank all those involved in designing these.

Right after the opening night reception on Monday get out your night fly kites for an impromptu night fly. This is unorganized but all are encouraged to come out and see what it is all about. I know from experience there have been some fantastic night flys in spring at Wildwood and the wind always cooperates.

There will all kinds of activities this year as in years past, some with prizes, but a few new ones are:

  1. Walkabout, we’ll all launch a kite and walk about the field. Let’s see who is best staying aloft and not tangled. Talk about a great way to meet your fellow kite flyer!! Mike Petty & Don Pignolet
  2. Wild in Wildwood, bring an animal kite and let’s launch them all at once. !! Mike Petty & Don Pignolet
  3. The Great Patch Challenge, we collect them like pins, but they never get the recognition. They can be sewn onto a jacket, kite bag or just loose in a shoe box. Let’s see who has the most, strangest, oldest, etc. !! Mike Petty & Don Pignolet
  4. A photo challenge, e-mail Rick Hawkins for more information: 
  5. A trivia contest about members so Rick needs them to send interesting facts about themselves that most people would not know, interests outside of kiting, like are they members of the polar bear club or do they collect belly button lint.
  6. Wear your “Best Kite Hat” – Marla Miller
  7. Wear your “Best Kite Tie” – Marla Miller
  8. Wear your “Best piece of Kite Jewelry” – Marla Miller

Interested in taking a workshop, on the list I’m sure you will find at least one thing that interests you: Brainstorming Innovative Ideas for your Convention, Conducting Children’s Kite Workshops, Decoration of Ripstop with Appliqué, Class size is limited to 8 people. Pre-registration is required for this class, Getting Creative: Getting a New Concept Into the Sky, I’ve Never Flown a Fighter Kite, Judging Handmade Kites: After the Competition , Judging Handmade Kites: Before the Competition, Kite Art: Using Kites to Educate and Amaze, Kite Building using a Unique Paper Technique, Kite Surfing 101, Let’s Talk Knock-Offs, Make a miniature kite, Make and Take Fighter Workshop, Making a Simple KAP Rig From Kite Making Materials, No Sew Kite Making Technique, Rev Kites 101, Small Banner Workshop, Sport Kite Symposium, Starting a Kite Business and Exploring the New Drachen Foundation Website.

Each day we will have the Mass ascensions where participants receive a free pin. Also, there will be an Angel Fly honoring our colleagues who have passed away, if you are participating in this event please bring a white kite.

The Keystone Kiters will be presenting a fun event at the upcoming convention in Wildwood, NJ. It will be a competition of home-made kites made out of your favorite snack food wrapper! Take any candy bar wrapper, bag of Cheesy-Poofs, or shipping container of Twinkies and make it into a kite. Special prizes will be awarded to participants based on the judges’ totally arbitrary and frivolous criteria. C’mon out and have fun!

Don’t forget the pin challenge and mini kite workshops which are always fun.

On Wednesday AKA Membership Forum & Annual Meeting where you actually get a face to face with your Board. You hear their reports and get to ask questions.

On Saturday the Mega kite will make an appearance and this is looking to be a major event. If all goes as planned, the photo opportunity will be a once in a lifetime experience.

The AKA, our fabulous organization, is made up of volunteers and without you we couldn’t survive so why not think about volunteering either at this convention or at a kiting event near you.

We hope to see you all at the convention, good winds….

Mike Dallmer, Convention Co-Chair along with my wife Cecilia.

The AKA is a nonprofit organization dedicated to educating the public in the art, history, technology, and practice of building and flying kites.

Join the crusade at!