Royston Rotary Kite Festival to take off next weekend

Royston Kite Festival. Credit: Clive Porter.

Royston Kite Festival. Credit: Clive Porter. - Credit: Clive Porter

When does an event become an institution? In the case of Royston’s Rotary Kite Festival, perhaps it’s when folks who came to the show as children in the 1990s are old enough to bring their own kids along in turn.

The festival, which is set to take off next Sunday, is in its 28th year and Rotary has run the show for the last 18, after North Herts District Council’s Countryside Management Service appealed for a community group to take over from them after the first decade.

“It’s a great formula, and one that’s stood the test of time,” said event organiser Jonathan Berks.

“Therfield Heath is such an amazing resource for the town – just a few minutes walk from the town centre, and it might have been designed for flying kites.

“We love the kite festival, and it seems that Royston loves it too. It’s a wonderful day out for families, and one that won’t break the bank – children under 14 still get in free!”

The event is entirely in aid of charitable causes. Every year the club’s president nominates a specific charity which benefits from a lion’s share of the gate money, but the festival proceeds, after expenses are paid, are usually enough to help many other charities throughout the Rotary year. Jonathan said: “We’re so grateful for all the help we get – it’s too big a show to run entirely on our own. The Lions Club and the scouts, as well as most partners of Rotarians, are there to assist on the day.

“And we get amazing support from many local firms in the form of sponsorship and the gift of tombola prizes – we’re really grateful to them.”

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Apart from the brilliance of the individual kite fliers’ displays, there are lots of other attractions.

The Historic Vehicle Show was so well received last year that it’s being repeated; and for the first time, Letchworth’s well known Crystalite Majorettes will be doing a couple of displays in the arena.

Jonathan said: “Add to all that the mixture the prospect of parachuting teddy bears, and everything’s set fair. All we need is sunshine and a nice breeze, and we’ll be ready to welcome Royston to the heath for another great day.”

The kite festival starts at 10.30am and finishes at 4.30pm on Sunday, August 5, at Therfield Heath – entry is £3.

For more information go to the website