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Multiculturalism Celebrated In The Winds

By Marcus Braid on September 9, 2014 in News

Photo: Megan Gale

Photo: Megan Gale

Sydney’s most colourful spring festival is set to celebrate the beauty of aerial sports in a unique multicultural setting.

The Festival of the Winds will take place at Bondi Beach for the 36th year on September 14 from 11am to 4pm. Raymond Wong, President of the Australian Kiteflyers Society (AKS), said guests from all over the world will converge on Bondi.

“It is the biggest kite festival in the southern hemisphere and Australasia,” he said. “It’s a matter of coming out of hibernation and enjoying the natural spring weather.

“This year we have guests coming from the States. We also have some Kiwis coming for the event as well, so we’ll have some beautiful Kiwi kites in the air.”

Australian and international kite flyers will display their flying skills and hand-made creations from 11am, with winners announced at 3pm on the day.

“It’s about people who share the same passion of kite flying… literally anything that flies,” Mr Wong said.

“Being on the beach, it’s a lot more of a diverse area. Back in the 1970s and ‘80s… kite flying was banned from all the beaches around Sydney. It comes around once a year in Bondi where you can fly these magnificent kites.

“Most of us come from an aerial background, from either flying planes, hang gliding, paragliding, kite flying or kite surfing. They all combine together very nicely. Most of us are late 30s upwards to about the 70s age group. It’s a nice way to get together to enjoy flying kites.”

The festival has a rich history with a particular focus on multiculturalism.

“It was initially funded from sources to promote multiculturalism and that’s really been a hallmark of the event for its whole history,” Waverley Council Cultural Programs Manager Matthew Fallon said.

“There’s a lot of diversity in the program. There are a lot of people from quite diverse cultural backgrounds who are part of the show on the Sunday.”

Food stalls from around the world will feature, as well as free dance workshops, children’s rides, kite making workshops and demonstrations, puppet shows and art exhibitions in the Bondi Pavilion Gallery.

The Festival of the Winds is a collaborative effort between Waverley Council, Bondi Pavilion and the AKS.

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