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Kite and Cultural Festival a high-flying event

Sure, Peter Williams wanted top musical acts at his festival. But he also wanted an activity that would transport Jamaicans back to their homeland.

He thought of kites.

"When we were kids in Jamaica, we didn't go buy toys," says Williams, organizer of Sunday's Kite and Cultural Festival in Lauderhill. "We had to make them ourselves. Whenever I see kites flying, it reminds me of being a child in Jamaica."

So in addition to listening to headliner Sean Kingston and acts such as Assassin and Mr. Traffic, Williams is inviting patrons of all ages to built a kite and fly it during the event, at Central Broward Regional Park, 3700 NW 11th Place.

"We're trying to introduce a different part of our culture," he says. "The kites make it more family fun, and around holiday time, it goes well with the music."

Williams notes that many Jamaican cities have kite festivals during Easter weekend, creating contraptions that are much more complex than the diamond-shaped kites sold in toy stores. He encourages visitors to create decorations for their kites using the colors of the Jamaican flag (green, yellow and black).

The gates will open at 11 a.m., and the music is expected to start at about 7 p.m., Williams says.

Kingston (real name: Kisean Anderson) was born in Miami, but moved to Jamaica when he was 6. Hence, the stage name. Kingston gained mainstream attention in 2007, when his single "Beautiful Girls," which borrows from Ben E. King's "Stand by Me," reached No. 1 on the Billboard charts.

Since then, he has appeared at the BankAtlantic Center with Justin Bieber and opened for the Black Eyed Peas at Sun Life Stadium . His new album, his third, is titled "Back 2 Life" and is set to be released this year.

Additional performers include Laden, Muziyah, Fyakin, Phort Knox and Zekedon.

Williams says a soccer tournament will begin at noon, with teams representing Brazil, Jamaica, Haiti and the United States. It's the first such festival he has organized in South Florida, but says he has arranged similar events in Jamaica.

Admission is $25. For more information, go to Facebook and search for "Kite and Cultural Festival."

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