ASTANA – Warm sunshine and gentle winds offered the perfect conditions for the July 5 Astana Aspany, Kazakhstan’s first international kite festival.
Kite pilots from Germany, Spain, France and Russia gathered for the festival, which was part of the celebrations marking Astana’s 16th anniversary as the capital of Kazakhstan.
The festival was held in an open area behind the Astana Music Hall building on the banks of the Yessil River where the public could admire the kites as well as enjoy entertainment on a stage provided for the event. Visitors young and old could enjoy a joyous atmosphere that included shows and surprises in the air as well as on stage.
From noon until 10 p.m., the public was able to see life-sized kites in the form of whales, giant owls, crocodiles and Chinese masks. Among the international masters piloting the kites were Gérard Clément, from the Berck-sur-Mer International Kite Festival; Rolf Zimmermann, a German kite builder and designer; and Pedro and Esteban González, founders of Los Hermanos Show Kites. The festival also showcased the talents of Red Alert, a professional sport kite group from Russia. The group performed a choreographed show set to music, which resembled a mini-jet aircraft show.
The international kite masters also showed children how to fly kites and hosted a kite-building class. The Astana mayor’s office also arranged for children from low-income families to be bused to the event where they were greeted by volunteer groups.
In addition to the entertainment in the sky, DJs Dias Urazbekov, Kaltai Ospanbekov and DJ Fara performed for the crowd.