East Meets West brings together kites, cultures and laughter

The 15th annual East Meets West Kite and Cultural Festival kicked off at Pope John Paul II Park in Dorchester on August 26. The two-day community event met with delightful weather conditions that were perfect for kites to fly: sunny blue sky in the lower 80s with moderately strong wind.

The East Meets West Kite and Cultural Festival took at Pope John Paul II Park on August 26 to 27. (Image courtesy of Valerie Li.)

This year, the festival features giant kites in the shape of octopi, lobsters, eagles, butterflies and a 450-foot long dragon. A kite-making workshop was set up for families and children to learn how to make their own kites. Participants were encouraged to bring their own kites to fly, but there were also a limited number of giveaways and other freebies.

Tracy Chang, a resident of Quincy, brought her 5-year-old son to the event for the first time. “I didn’t know about the park before and it is really amazing to have this great space for kites,” she said. “It reminds me of my childhood when my father brought me to fly kites in parks.”

Founded by Tom Chung in 2003, the East Meets West Festival has been flying kites and bringing communities together for 15 years. “The main purpose of the kite festival is to bring people of all skin tones and all walks of life together to have a relaxed weekend together,” said Chung.

The event has taken place throughout the Northeast. In 2005, East Meets West gathered attendees at Liberty State Park in New Jersey. Many people gathered to see the 300-foot long dragon kite soaring across the blue sky for the first time.

The event organizer estimated around 600 people attended the event. “We gave out more than 500 programs books in two days. In the future, we are hoping to have more festivals and more community engagement activities in the greater Boston area,” Chung added.

Image courtesy of Valerie Li.

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