Every spring when the weather begins to warm and the breezes begin to blow, you almost always see children or adults trying their best to fly a kite. We all have memories as a child and how we loved to fly our own kite. Kite flying was and still is all about the challenge to see how high in the air you can get your kite or how quickly you can run to fly it. The opportunity to meet that challenge once again is coming up Saturday, April 22, 2017 at the 18th Annual Dixie Power Kite Festival. This event has become the largest kite festival in the State of Utah and is attended by thousands of children and their families in an effort to raise awareness for literacy in our communities of Southern Utah. Elementary students from the area and their families all come to fly kites and enjoy a day of fun with their family and other community members. This year will mark the 18th year of our partnership with Dixie Power and what a kite ride it has been!
The WCSD Foundation partnered with Dixie Power in 1999 in an effort to promote reading in Washington County School District.
The Mission of the Dixie Power Kite Festival is four fold:
- Provide a wholesome, uplifting, family-oriented event where everyone can participate regardless of experience, training, financial means or physical abilities.
- Promote reading as a fundamental basis of education for every child of elementary school age.
- Support education with additional funding and make that funding available to selected participating schools at the discretion of the Washington County School Foundation.
- Patronize those members of the business community whose financial sponsorships make the Kite Festival possible.
In early January, elementary students receive a reading chart and are given the challenge to read at home, record it on the chart and then if signed off by a parent or guardian, are rewarded with a kite, a book or a $10 voucher for games or rides at the Festival. Then the fun begins. The festival has kite flying, vendor booths, continuous entertainment, games, bounce houses and delicious food to keep everyone happy. It is so exciting to see families share in the fun of this event.
The first kite festival was held in 2000 at SunRiver. We thank SunRiver for allowing us to hold the festival there for 16 years. Their growth exploded and we were soon out of room. We approached Dixie State University and they very graciously agreed to have the festival at the Encampment Mall on the campus of Dixie State University. The kite festival has grown into an amazing event for our community and better yet, it has improved literacy throughout our community by encouraging reading among students and donating money for literacy to the participating schools in Washington County School District.
All of the proceeds earned from the festival are donated back to WCSD Foundation for literacy programs throughout the district. To this date, Dixie Power has donated $447,000 back to our elementary schools. We are appreciative to Dixie Power for their on-going support of our students through the kite festival. Their employees work tirelessly in the planning, the setup and the takedown of the event and volunteering much of their time. The kite festival steering committee consists of volunteers in the community who meet all year long to plan and execute the festival. We could not do it without them. We have amazing sponsors who step up and support year after year. Thank you to all who help in any way.
As you look for fun and exciting things to do this spring, plan on attending the Dixie Power Kite Festival on Saturday, April 22, 2017 from 10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. at the Encampment Mall at Dixie State University. It is a win win for all of us. The students are reading better, families are spending quality time with each other and the WCSD schools benefit. Let’s go fly a kite!