Cultural Kite Festival: What you need to know about flying a kite

SUGAR LAND, TX (KTRK) -- Dating back to the fifth century, kite flying is perhaps one of the easiest and most fun pasttimes -- so easy that almost anybody can do it!

At the Cultural Kite Festival in Sugar Land on Saturday, Rick Hawkins of About Kites gave ABC13 a hands-on demonstration of how to assemble a new kite fresh out of its packaging and shared tips for getting your new toy in the air.

PHOTOS: Kites soar above Sugar Land's Cultural Kite Festival

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Before you head out to take your new kite for a spin, there are two important kite guidelines you should know. Without a permit, kites cannot be flown at altitudes above 300 feet, where they could interfere with helicopter operations, Hawkins explained.

Flying a kite within close proximity of an airport is also prohibited. Depending on their size, kites can register on radar systems used to track aircraft when they reach a certain altitude. Hawkins said that kites dipping in and out of range of radar systems can disrupt air traffic control operations, and even appear to controllers as downed aircraft.

At the Cultural Kite Festival, kite aficionados like Hawkins were out in full force despite the rain, letting their prized kites soar high above Sugar Land.

The free event, now in its ninth year, brings together kite lovers of all ages for flying, contests, workshops and cultural performances. Judges recognized kites based on size, uniqueness and creativity and flying altitude.

A sidewalk art competition invited those of all ages to showcase their best chalk masterpieces in a race against time with the impending rain.

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