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Buffalo Jump State Park hosts annual Buffalo Kite Festival

Buffalo Jump State Park hosts annual Buffalo Kite Festival
Posted at 9:21 AM, Jul 10, 2023

The annual Buffalo Kite Festival is happening July 8th and 9th at the First People’s Buffalo Jump State Park.

The event is from 10am to 4pm both days and the festival is family friendly for all ages.

Kids will be able to get a kite kit to build and decorate their own kite and then go out and fly it over the buffalo jump. Participants will also get to learn about the buffalo art that is featured on the kites. The Kite kits are $10 each.

Recreation manager of First People’s Buffalo Jump State Park, Clark Carlson-Thompson has been participating in this event for five years and is excited to welcome everyone out to the park this weekend.

“We usually get a few hundred folks out here to come out and check out the big kites in the air,” said Carlson-Thompson, “and then we also usually get a big crowd of kids out here who are eager to make their own kite, decorate the kite the way they want to, and then get out there and fly it.”

The Buffalo Kite Festival is a joint effort of Montana State Parks and Terry Zee Lee, the founder of SkyWindWorld. Zee Lee has made and commissioned these kites for over 22 years and has worked with Native American artists all around the United States.

Buffalo Jump State Park hosts annual Buffalo Kite Festival
Buffalo Jump State Park hosts annual Buffalo Kite Festival

They work to create unique buffalo-themed kites, which can be seen in action at the festival. Each kite has a story and a unique background that is symbolic of the indigenous people and their culture.

“The core of discovery would have never been able to make it out and back if it had not been for the native people,” said Zee Lee. “So, any time we fly the kites it’s to show [that] the kites have a lot of Native American influence in them and we always make sure that we reference that the success of the journey was because of the indigenous people.”

Carlson Thompson explained that Buffalo Jump State Park is a great place for this festival and that it offers a multitude of positives for the community and participants.

“It’s just a great way to get people to come out to the park. It's a great way to highlight native artists to illustrate the buffalo cultures on the prairies and a great way to kind of build communities, bring different groups of people together,” said Carlson-Thompson.

First Peoples Buffalo Jump State Park map