One of the kite performances synced to music at the Redwood Coast Kite Festival | Photos, video: Stephanie McGeary 


It’s a bird…it’s a plane…it’s a giant whale flying above Eureka!

You may have noticed kites in the shape of whales, squid, fish and and all sorts of other creatures and shapes flying near the Eureka’s waterfront this weekend. That’s because the second annual Redwood Coast Kite Festival has taken over Halvorsen Park for two days of kite-centered fun!

This is the second year of the kite festival in Eureka, put on by Humboldt Kiters, a DreamMaker project of the Ink People. Mark Ahrens, local kite enthusiast and event coordinator for the festival, told the Outpost on Saturday that the turnout for the festival was very good and that it is starting to become well-known among avid kiters across the country. 

“We’ve become a destination point,” Ahrens said during a quick interview on Saturday afternoon. “It’s pretty awesome because the kiting community has said ‘this is the real deal.’”

The festival, Ahrens added, is actually a reboot of the original Redwood Coast Kite Festival that started on the Samoa Peninsula in 1992 and was eventually moved to southern Oregon. Like so many events, the festival was canceled during the pandemic and has not returned since.  The idea to bring the festival back came about after some local kiters started meeting in Halvorsen Park during COVID lockdown. Ahrens said that it started with just a couple people and then, as people realized it was a fun and safe activity to do outdoors during COVID, the kiter group grew larger. 

After learning that the Oregon kite festival would not be coming back post COVID, Ahrens and a group of other local kiters decided that they needed to fill the void. They started the nonprofit Humboldt Kiters and put together the festival and Halvorsen Park in 2022. 

This year, the festival has grown to include more professional kite performances with sport kites, food vendors and a wellness area with a blood mobile and DHHS booth. There were also artisan vendors selling local clothing, jewelry, crafts and — of course — kites!

If you missed the event on Saturday, the Redwood Coast Kite Festival continues at Halvorsen Park in Eureka today (Sunday, May 21) until 5 p.m. 

“Come on out and have fun,” Ahrens said. 

Scroll down for a few more photos.