Photos: The Kite Festival Swoops into Franklin Park

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About 700 people flew kites, rode bikes, danced, played steel drums, picnicked and just plain hung out at the Playstead in Franklin Park during the annual Kite Festival, held on a perfect spring day Saturday, May 14.

An institution since 1968, the festival for 20 years was a family event so enormous that it stretched across the entire park, and would close the park to all through traffic that day. After the golf course was refurbished in 1990, the Kite Festival was banished and languished for years, but it has made a comeback the past five years thanks to Discover Roxbury and The Franklin Park Coalition, in cooperation with the the Boston Parks Department.

This year’s Kite Festival was the largest since its reboot in 2011. Among the highlights was the presence of DJ Jammin Joe Johnson, formerly a popular jock on the old radio station WILD — which co-hosted the old Kite Festival with the Parks Department and broadcast live from Franklin Park all that day — who livened up the crowd with the island sounds of the band Tempo International.

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Jammin Joe Johnson and his Tempo International Rhythm Section

Richard Heath

Jammin Joe Johnson performed with his Tempo International band.

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Teachin pan to some aspiring steelband players

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The Playstead section of Franklin Park

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  • Sarah

    This was a wonderful event (and there was great weather). I hope that in future years they can get some food trucks to be there. This year, there were some advertised, but in reality there was only an ice cream truck. Or maybe no food trucks and just tell people to bring food for a picnic.