Capriccio is Ogunquit’s annual two-week celebration of the arts, featuring poetry readings, art gallery open houses, theater, concerts and classic films. But the don’t-miss event for families is the ascension of kites on Ogunquit Beach on Saturday. The high-flying fun begins at 9 a.m.

“It is the 13th annual Capriccio Festival of Kites. We give away kites for kids to decorate and fly,” explained Tracy Smith, kite festival organizer.

The Smith family has been involved in organizing the kite festival since its inception.

When Tracy Smith’s father, Larry, was an Ogunquit selectman, he decided to use his compensation from the town to organize a kite festival. That was 13 years ago and now his daughter has taken over the reins.

These days, Kennebunk Savings Bank purchases the supplies for the kites made of Tyvek material. The sled style of kite is very easy to fly, a key feature to ensure that young and old can get their kites in the air.

The Ogunquit Rotary Club assembles the kites. Kids can claim one Saturday morning and decorate it any way they like with the art supplies on hand.

“We have about 300 kites to give away every year, and usually have none left by the end of the event,” said Smith.

Capriccio begins Monday and runs through Sept. 18, and its other events this week include Poets in Person at the Barn Gallery on Monday; open houses at Ogunquit historic buildings from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday; “Alfred Stieglitz: The Eloquent Eye” art video at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Barn Gallery; Thursday Night Adventure at the Barn Gallery at 7:30 p.m. Thursday; open house at art galleries from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday; and the Good Neighbor Fair! Music, Food and Fun, a fundraiser for Maine’s Special Fuel Fund, at Ogunquit Baptist Church from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Sunday.

Homemade kites won’t be the only stars in the sky on Saturday. Local kite clubs, the NorEasters and Kites Over New England, are also expected to be at the beach. These clubs typically fly anything from stunt kites to multi-line and giant fliers.

There will be a mass ascension at noon, so organizers encourage all to get their kites ready to fly by then.

Smith said there is another good incentive for the younger kite fliers to be at the beach on Saturday.

“We have about 70 prizes for the younger kids flying kites,” she said.

It’s sure to be a colorful day at Ogunquit Beach. The event runs until 2 p.m., but organizers say kite fliers are welcome to stay as long as they want.

“What’s great about the event is that it’s free. People should come down to the beach and just have fun kite-flying,” said Smith.

Staff Writer Wendy Almeida can be contacted at 791-6334 or at:

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Twitter: RaisingMaine