The 41st AKA Annual Convention will be held in Shreveport, Louisiana on Monday, October 15th to Saturday, October 20th, 2018!
Jambalaya, Crawfish Pie…And Big Fun on the Bayou Breezes
Every year the AKA moves its annual convention to another region of the country and we have some favorite locations that we return to repeatedly. But there is also a tradition of going to entirely different locations to test new flying fields, wind conditions, and yes, local cuisine. It is in that spirit that the Convention Committee agreed to go to Shreveport, Louisiana, for the first time this October 15-20, 2018. As we move closer to the event, our excitement is building for all the things this new location has to offer.
Shreveport bills itself as a mix of Cajun and Texas culture with a big emphasis on food and enjoying life. After the rain we’ve had the last two conventions, one of the exciting things about Shreveport is that in October the average weather conditions are as follows: High/low temperatures of 78/45 degrees, winds 6-12 mph, and (drum roll please) a 67% chance of sunshine. Shreveport is serviced by the major U.S. airlines, so no long drives are required.
Our flying field is on the Louisiana State University (LSUS) campus, which has a large open space with mowed lawns for flying. There’s room for our required fields and public flying. We’ve been given permission to park on the flying field if the ground is not too wet, but even then there’s ample parking close at hand. The field is a scenic 16-minute drive along the Red River on a parkway with few stop signs.
The Shreveport Convention Center is a modern, state-of-the-art facility with rooms for all our workshops, banquets, meetings, and indoor flying. What’s more, it’s directly connected to the Hilton, our host hotel. The Hilton is located at 104 Market Street, right in the middle of the “touristy” part of downtown with loads of restaurants, pubs, and gathering places within easy walking distance. Parking for the center is directly across the street with a connecting skyway. The Hilton has a limited number of discounted rooms with free parking, available to AKA members on a first-come, first-served basis. The only way to get those rates is to book online at https://aws.passkey.com/e/49576307.
Every morning there will be an amazing choice of workshops held in four rooms for two sessions: 9:00-10:15 and 10:30-11:45. We are lucky to have such a generous community of artists who are volunteering time to share their kite passion with convention attendees. All workshops are free to registered attendees only. Most classes don’t require any materials, while others offer the option of buying materials at the workshop. (If you want to take a sewing workshop, please note that on your application.) The list (see page 28) is subject to change, and an actual schedule (plus a materials list) will be published online no later than September 1, 2018. Go to www.kite.org for more details.
Last but not least, every afternoon there will be lots of kiteflying. In addition to the competitions and mass-ascensions, there will be space for show kites and demos. The public will be invited to enjoy the celebration. The Convention Committee has worked hard for the last year to make all this happen, and I am honored to have had the time to work with them. I invite you to come join us. Let’s celebrate our 41st Grand National Convention!
Convention Committee Chairman
Registration is open online for the Annual Convention! Register now and take advantage of the early registration savings! Sign on to the members only page of Kite.org and follow the instructions. http://members.kite.org/event-2263833
Where to go when you get there.
The Hilton Hotel and Shreveport Convention Center are located on the northwest corner of Market Street and Caddo Street. The Cypress Street Parking Garage is across Market Street and has a covered sky bridge connecting it to the building. The Sky Bridge gives easy access to Convention Center and Hotel. All of our activities take place on the Second Level of the Convention Center. Our HUB for activity will be the Red River Ballroom.
Registration will open at noon on Monday October 15th in the Red River Ballroom.
- Enter the Convention Center through the doors from the Sky bridge
- Take a left and just around the corner, take the escalator to the second level
- at the top of the escalator, take a u-turn and you will see the Red River Ballroom straight ahead.
Here are the activities taking place in the Red River Ballroom
- Auction Receiving
- Bag Raffle
- Silent Auction
- Monday Evening Opening Reception
- Tuesday Morning Board of Directors Meeting
- Visiting, quick activities, small groups
What does the Convention Cost?
In order to attend an AKA Convention, an individual must be a current member and be officially registered for the event.
The price of registration varies from year to year and is determined by dividing the convention expenses by the expected number of attendees. All costs of presenting an annual convention are paid from registration fees and are not subsidized by membership dues. Costs may include receptions and banquets, room rentals, registration supplies, management and equipment such as stages and sound systems.
What Is the Convention?
The AKA Convention is an annual five day gathering of kite enthusiasts, artists, and competitors. The Convention ranks as one of the largest kite gatherings in the world. Convention activities include educational workshops, games, displays, and the Grand National kite competitions for kite making and sport kite flying. Committee and general business meetings are scheduled. Other highlights are the Great Kite Auction which offers unique and hard to get kite products and a retail FlyMarket for small vendors. The Convention is held in different locations each year and is scheduled in September or October. The gathering is only open to AKA members.
For more information about the Annual Convention contact our convention manager at email@example.com
Are you planning on gifting an item to the Annual Auction? Please fill out this form and email it to firstname.lastname@example.org
Some of the 2018 Annual Auction Items
WHERE WILL THE INSIDE ACTIVITIES TAKE PLACE?
Shreveport Convention Center – 400 Caddo Street
All the workshops, raffles, auction, banquets, meetings and In-Door flying are held on the second level of the Convention Center.
WHERE IS THE HOST HOTEL?
Hilton-Shreveport Convention Center – 104 Market Street – Corner of Caddo and Market Streets
The Host Hotel is attached to the Shreveport Convention Center.
WHERE ARE THE FLYING FIELDS?
Louisiana State University-Shreveport Campus – Soccer Fields – One University Place
Easy access to the Flying Fields is off of East Kings Highway
Directions from the Convention Center Parking Garage –
East on Caddo Street for two blocks
Turn Right onto Clyde Fant Memorial Parkway
Stay on Clyde Fant Memorial Parkway for approximately 6 miles
Exit onto East 70th Street to Bert Kouns Industrial Loop
Take a Left onto Bert Kouns Industrial Loop to East Kings Highway
Take a Left onto East Kings Highway
LSUS is on the Right
IS A CAR NECESSARY?
A personal car will make getting around Shreveport more convenient for you. Attendees staying at the Host Hotel-Hilton, Shreveport Convention Center, can arrange a free shuttle pickup at the Shreveport Airport. Plus the Hotel shuttle offers complimentary service within a two mile radius.
HOW DO WE GET FROM THE CONVENTION CENTER/HOTEL TO THE FLYING FIELDS?
The Shreveport Convention and Tourism Bureau is providing shuttle service to and from the hotel and the flying fields. Plans are also being made to offer shuttle service from the Convention Center to the Banner Parade of Color on Tuesday afternoon.
WHAT KITES ARE NEEDED FOR MASS ASCENSION?
Mass Ascensions will be each day at 1 pm.
Tuesday will be Rokkakus and Fighters
Wednesday will be Cellular and Dimensional
Thursday will be Soft and Flexible
Friday will be Sport Kites
Saturday will be Delta Kites
Also bring a White Kite for the Memorial Fly on Tuesday Afternoon
WHAT KITES ARE NEEDED FOR THEMED FLYS?
Themed Fly’s are done in the afternoons after Mass Ascension. Red, White and Blue Displays and Kites, Art Kites, Past Grand National and People’s Choice Winners, Workshop made Kites, Kites with moving parts, Arches and Trains, Oldest Kites will all be featured during the week. Please feel free to fly what you bring when you can. The idea is to be on the field flying kites, interacting with each other and with the public that come to see our kite displays.