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Public Radio's Environmental News Magazine (follow us on Google News)

Almanac/Blowin’ in the Wind

Air Date: Week of

This week, we have facts about the Festival du Vent. Wind lovers gather in the extra-breezy island town of Calvi, Corsica in the Mediterranean.


CURWOOD: Welcome back to Living on Earth. I’m Steve Curwood.

[MUSIC: Vince Guaraldi “Cast Your Fate To The Wind” VINCE GUARALDI’S GREATEST HITS (Fantasy, 1989)]

CURWOOD: If you’re in the mood to go fly a kite this weekend, you should head to the Mediterranean. That’s because the Festival du Vent, or Wind Festival, is blowing into Calvi, a little seaport on the northwestern coast of Corsica.

Calvi owes its famed windiness to its topography. It lies smack dab between a cove and a horseshoe-shaped mountain range. Westerly winds blow in from the ocean and slam into the mountains. The trapped air spins back towards the town, creating a breezy vortex.

Ten years ago, town councilman Serge Orru started the wind festival to honor Calvi’s windy heritage with art and sports. This year, the town of 4,000 plans to host more than 40,000 festivalgoers. Activities include kite flying of course, but there will also be street performances, concerts, and art on the beach. The festival also showcases renewable energy vehicles, including solar boats and cars, and even La Canopee, the world’s largest hot air ship designed to transport researchers above Amazonian treetops.

And just how windy is it on Calvi? In the famously windy city of Chicago, the breeze blows in at an average of ten miles per hour. In Calvi, the average is 15--just right to go fly your kite. And for this week, that’s the Living on Earth Almanac.




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