Children of all ages are invited to fly a kite each Labor Day weekend in Beech Mountain.
The annual Mile High Kite Festival takes place the Saturday and Sunday of Labor Day weekend in the kite field at the Famous Brick Oven Pizzeria. Located at more than 5,000 feet in elevation, the meadow makes it easy to sail kites more than a mile above sea level.
The festival includes kite-flying music and announcing provided by Terry Murray and Will Smoot of the Richmond Air Force Kite Club from Virginia. Prizes are awarded for the biggest kite, smallest kite and best decorated kite.
Other activities include races with kids pulling parachute kites, face painting, and a variety of craft and food vendors.
Don't have a kite? Fret not. Kites are available for sale, and the first 300 kids (age 12 and under) receive a free one. The event is sponsored by the Beech Mountain Chamber of Commerce in conjunction with the Richmond Air Force kite club and the Wings Across Carolina Kiting and Okra Society from Charlotte.
There's also an all-ages street dance Saturday evening in front of town hall. The parking lot is covered with sand and a deejay plays a variety of fun dance music.
We like to float the idea to come up and make a weekend of it," says event organizer Calder Smoot. "In addition to the street dance and kite festival, scenic chairlift rides are available all weekend and folks can enjoy a concert on the lawn Sunday evening following the festival."
The meadow is divided into two areas: one for exhibitions/demonstrations from the kite clubs and one for the general public.