Rogallo Kite Festival at Jockey’s Ridge Saturday & Sunday

Kites flying at Jockey's Ridge State Park during a Rogallo Festival.
Kites flying at Jockey’s Ridge State Park during a Rogallo Festival.

Looking for something fun to do this weekend? Something for the whole family?

If that’s the case, check out the Rogallo Kite Festival at Jockey’s Ridge State Park in Nags Head Saturday and Sunday.

Sponsored by Kitty Hawk Kites, the event is a wonderful celebration of a true American hero.

Francis Rogallo and His Invention

Francis Rogallo doesn’t show up in a lot of history book, but it was his invention of a “parawing” a frameless steerable went that made hang gliding possible. And more than hang gliding. Almost all modern stunt kites are patterned after his designs. Modern parachutes that can be directed to a landing zone; paraglider and more.

All of it because he and his wife Gertrude created a frames wing that would fly to the left when told to, or to the right, or up and down.

Rogallo spent almost his entire professional career at NASA, beginning with the agency before WWII when its acronym was NACA— National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics.

The Rogallo wing—as it is known—was just one of some 24 or 25 patents that he held, all of them related to flight.

Rogallo Festival

The Rogallo Festival is all about kites and flying. There are stunt kite demos all day. This is a great time to learn how to fly a two or four line kite.

We’re not sure just what kites Kitty Hawk Kites will have on the dune, but in the past there have been power kites as well as regular stunt kites. Flying a power kite is a thrilling, and depending on how strong the wind is, a bit exhausting, experiences.

There are also kites in the sky all day long. Huge kites, often in the form of various sea creatures, but also large deltas and box kites, their strings adorned with spinners and even some small kites.

The weather is looking close to perfect for Saturday and Sunday, so there’s really no excuse for not being there. Bring some water, sunscreen and keep the sandals on—the sand is getting hot.

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