As well as up to 18 different hot air balloons decending on this year's Balloons inDurham Festival, visitors can witness extreme kite flying, and the team behind the kite flying will attempt to erect and successfully fly a never-flown-before kite for the first time ever on UK soil.

Balloons inDurham Kite flying

Doug and Linda Richardson are the lead kite flyers at Balloons InDurham and have been passionate about the sport for over 25 years.  In 1995, Doug was challenged by a Dutch kite maker to create his own kite. He successfully rose to the challenge and since then he and his wife have been hooked, making dozens of kites since that have been flown at festivals around the world.

In 2009 Doug made a 60ft high puffin kite for an international festival but was unable to fly it because of poor weather.  Due to its size, the kite requires near perfect flying conditions and has never been off the ground. With not being airborne since its creation over nine years ago, the kite will be making its way to Balloons InDurham, where Doug and Linda supported by their team will make the attempt to successfully fly the enormous kite, not just for the first time in the UK above the skies od Durham City, but for the first time ever in the kite’s history.

Balloons inDurham kite flying

Mr Richardson, said “We can’t guarantee the puffin will fly, but just trying to get this huge kite off the ground will be a spectacle, and we hope the crowds will support me, Linda and our team in trying to achieve this UK-first.

“I was thrilled when the organisers of Balloons inDurham - Durham BID asked us to make the attempt at this year's festival, as we know however it turns out, the North East folk will be behind us and we’ll all have good fun in the process.”

Balloons inDurham kite flying

The UK-first attempt will take place on Saturday 26th May at East Durham College Houghall Campus between 12pm and 6.30pm, providing the weather conditions are correct.

As well as the kite flying, Balloons InDurham taking place between Friday 25th and Monday 28th May will feature mass hot air balloons launches, tethered balloons, live music entertainment, arts and craft tents and of course the stunning Night Glow, with the programme spread across Durham City and at East Durham College Houghall Campus.

Events on Palace Green are free to attend throughout the course of Balloons InDurham.  There is a non-refundable £5 per car per day parking permit scheme in place for each day of the festival at Houghall Campus. Once a car parking permit has been purchased on the gate at Houghall Campus, it allows the visitors to come and go during the date the permit is valid for, meaning they can enjoy a balloon launch, then go and explore Durham City, enjoy a bite to eat or purchase some supplies for a picnic, before returning to the college for more actives later in the afternoon or into the evening without paying a re-entry fee.

Virgin Balloons will also be attending Balloons InDurham. People wishing to experience a hot air balloon flight should contact them directly to book the experience.

Events are all subject to weather conditions and could be re-scheduled at short notice. For more information about Balloons InDurham and for live updates about the festival programme follow Durham BID on Facebook.

To view the full Balloons inDurham Programme click here. 

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