Windswept Off Our Feet by Windscape

Whimsical, wonderful kites and a festival to match.

A kite festival on the prairies – it’s brilliant. I can’t think of a more perfect, right in the feels thing to do with my kids than fly a kite. Our first Windscape experience was hot and windy, and we loved every minute of it. The kids were one, four and five that year.

We watched the experts fly these elaborate, many-stringed kites in patterns, chasing one another and moving to music. We laughed at the crazy, huge kites that looked like astronauts or puffer fish. We soaked up the sun and that amazing festival feeling that you get; when everyone is smiling and having fun and life is good.

We have been back over the years and Windscape has evolved, added events and dining options, and it still stands up for our kids who are 10, 14 and 15. It’s a family favourite.

Young girl in a blue shirt flying a kite.

Photo Credit: Greg Huszar, Huszar Visuals

 

So, what can you expect from this wind-driven weekend? You’ll receive a free program and passport with the entertainment schedule, info on celebrity kite performances, children’s activities and a site map.

Bring your own kite, try one of the popular kite-making workshops or head to the store where both single and dual-line kites are for sale. If you have a flying malfunction, head to the Kite Hospital where volunteers can help with repairs.

Little ones love the The TD Bank Children’s Tent for the bubble station, face painting and hands-on events like the juggling tent or the splatter mural. These are just a few of the activities; head to the website for the full list.

It’s all eyes on the sky when the celebrity kite flyers perform. You’ll see everything from teams of quad-line stunts to kites dancing to music. This festival -and our endless Saskatchewan horizon- attracts more than 40 professional kite flyers from North America, Europe and beyond.

Sunday night is the Long Day’s Night Music Festival’s all-ages concert. The folk-rock of Shred Kelly under the big top would be a pretty great way to cap off the weekend.

What to know:

  • You don’t need me to tell you this, but I will mother hen you: dress in layers and bring some sun protection. Windscape runs rain or shine.
  • Stock up on photo storage space! With all the kites, smiles and those gorgeous prairie skies, this is a photo op supreme.
  • Pack a blanket or lawn chairs.
  • Admission is free, but cash is handy for “Windscape Bucks” (tokens for certain children’s tent activities), the Kite Store and the market.

What’s on the menu:

The food market has lots of good options from those yummy little donuts to pizza slices and barbecued meals. Great news for picky eaters, thirsty toddlers and the parents who are trying to hold the whole crew together: food from home and water bottles are allowed and encouraged.

Where to stay:

Check out the website for a ‘Stay and Fly’ package, and Tourism Swift Current has the lowdown on area accommodations ranging from tent camping to RV parks and motels to hotels.

Keep Swift Current in mind as they have a pretty amazing summer planned with the inaugural Great Southwest Shakespeare Festival, our future Olympic athletes competing in the Western Canada Summer Games and the 25th Annual Watermelon Festival at the Mennonite Heritage Village. And, – Mom tip – if you can sneak away for an hour, the clothes shopping in the Pioneer Co-op in town is ah-mazing. I am not even joking – it will change your life!

The city of Swift Current has harnessed the wind (and our hearts) with this simple, vibrant and happy gathering. This marks the 15th annual festival, and it just keeps getting better.

-Jesse Green is a freelance writer and editor. She is an amateur woodworker, loves to swim in the summer and cross country ski in the winter. She lives in Humboldt with her husband, their three wonderful children, and a stern tabby cat.