Up in the sky was paper kites and below was laughter and families enjoying a free annual event. Based in a national park near the Golden Gate Bridge I became a child again and watched kites be made, fly and some fall hard to the ground as the annual Presidiso Kite Festival.
What was the event?
What: Kite Festival
Where: Presidio National Park
When: 10th August 2019
And the story begins…
Kites require one thing. Wind. The green lawn was sitting there waiting for this event to be created and it now welcomes thousands of families on an annual basis. The National Park aim was to create events that bring people who wouldn’t come to the national park normally. This way it brings them to see what is the park all about and hopefully in the future come again for more events or even just to relax . Its all about diversifying the product to being more than a park. Those from under privileged areas are also invited into this extremely picturesque land, which I’ll be honest I felt was quite “posh” due to the fancy houses…but getting to the grounds and understand the aims of the National Park its not. This is due to the history of the parks from it being an army barracks. Its far from it. The under privileged families who want to engage with the festival are brought to the event in a free shuttle – this breaks the barriers for them getting there and not having to worry about additional costs for a day out. I love it. For that reason the event has really thought out of the box.
I walk about with Margaret who was part of the team and the person who came up with the original idea and I am so excited. I love the whole purpose of the event. Its simple but its beautiful. The concept of the event makes it into my top 5 of events – HUGE! Why? Simple:
- Engaging with nature and outside – making sure kids are not sitting on there Playstation 2 playing Crash Bandicoot.
- Making use of the space that may have been quieter on the Saturday
- Opening up the park to all communities in San Francisco and allowing them to feel part and enjoy the event
- Its beautiful seeing families laughing and the concentration of creating the artwork that most probably will end up tangled with another competing parent wanting there child to have the best ever kite.
Laughter was the only sound I could hear well actually that and the wind. It was perfect. Every other event would be cancelled if the wind was this high but instead this event needs it.
The event partners with members of the Bekerly Kite Festival who deliver some of the most amazing kites I have ever seen. It is a partnership that I think is just a perfect relationship and has an amazing future. But here is the fact. This event does not need to be 20,000 people. It needs to keep its central purpose – cater for the few thousand and be an amazing addition to the park and the area.
The event can easily build on a lot including the sustainability of the event by encouraging people to take public transport, not to bring single use plastic and to recycle the kites they have made or keep them forever! The messaging and the method of engaging with consumers would be the only recommendations to build on for the future!
I always wanted to go to a Kite Festival so for me this was special. It was art and I immersed in it.
One thing to take away…
Kites. Such a simple context but a massive impact. It brings happiness. It brings memories and most of all experiences for all to engage with. Kite Festival in the National Park – genius.