Confucius Birthday, Shandong and Weifang International Kite Festival 1987

September 28 is Confucius Birthday! As we prepared to join friends for a celebration dinner of Shandong cuisine I have memories of visiting Qufu in Shandong Province 25 years ago after a fantastic adventure to Beijing, the Great Wall of China, and to the objective of the trip the 4th International Kite Festival at Weifang, China. After short visit to China in 1984 I returned for my second trip to China in 1987  and I traveled as a member of the American Kitefliers delegation to the 4th Weifang International Kite Festival.

The city of Weifang is regarded as the founding place of Kiteflying and is the host city for the Chinese National Kiteflying Competition. In the early 1980s David Checkly of Seattle began to work on developing the connection between American Kitefliers and the event and he began taking Americans to China to particpate in this event. After assisting David organize Japanese kite exhibits at the Seattle Cherry Blossom and Japanese Cultural Festival for several years I was finally able to join his group and go to China in 1987. Jim and Kay Buesing of Long Beach Kites decided to fly a kite they made in the competition and asked me if I wanted to fly another kite they brought to the event (a high tech “Marshall Delta Kite”). So at the last minute I entered the competition with the Delta Kite and it ended up winning one of the Top Ten Best Kites in the World award!

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The Associated Press ran a story and I was interviewed by TV Tokyo at the event too. When I returned home The Columbian  Newspaper ran a story and it made the cover of MidWeek Magazine. Kay Buesing later became the director of the World Kite Museum in Long Beach Washington and my Trophy Kite, a Chinese centipede kite,  is now in the collection of the museum. I have a nice certificate of award with my name in Chinese at home and a smaller Chinese centipede kite as a memento. We enjoy visiting the World Kite Museum at Long Beach, Washington which has colorful exhibits and is now the home for the David Checkley Asian Kite Collection of over 700 kites from Japan, China and other Asian countries. The museum sponsors many year-round activities and the annual Long Beach Kite Festival. See


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2 Responses to Confucius Birthday, Shandong and Weifang International Kite Festival 1987

  1. Rachel Vaughan Spayd says:

    I was also on this miraculous, beautiful journey with the AKA contingency. What a wonderful experience!

    • mockford says:

      Hi Rachael. Great to hear from you! Can you believe next year will be 30 years since that trip! Please say hello to your Dad. If you happen to have any photos of my younger self in China please let me know by email. I just sent an email to your Res01@metrocast address.

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