THE skies will be filled with colour this weekend as Basingstoke’s annual Kite Festival gets under way.

The extravaganza, which is run by the Loddon Valley Kite Flyers, and sponsored by Gazette Newspapers, attracts kite-flyers from other parts of the country and the Continent.

And with the festival coinciding with the long bank holiday weekend to mark the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, it is to be hoped that plenty of people will turn out at the free-entry event, which runs from 10am until 5pm on Saturday and Sunday at Down Grange Sports Complex, off Pack Lane, Basingstoke.

The Kite Festival started off as a one-day event in 1993 and it grew from there to include the whole weekend.

This year’s event promises to be as fun-filled as ever, with impressive arena shows, which are not only great for all ages to watch but also feature displays of incredible skill.

Entry is free although a small donation to the car park would be very welcome, as all money raised goes towards running the event.

Alan Cosgrove, event co-ordinator for the Loddon Valley Kite Flyers, said: “This is a great fun family event and day out.

“Guests this year include kite flyers from France and Germany and from around the UK.

“They all enjoy coming to Basingstoke and even ask to come back.

“There will be lots of flying displays, and kite and food traders, as well as bouncy castles, bungee trampolines and go karts.

“Families can bring a picnic and stay for a few hours, enjoying the things going on inside and outside the arena.”

The young winners of this year’s Design a Kite competition, which was on a theme of the elements, will also be presented with their prizes by the borough mayor.

More information is online at