The Owls Head Transportation Museum will host its annual Kites, Bikes & Trikes Family Festival on Saturday, April 24 where children can bring their kites (homemade or otherwise) to fly and see kite-flying demonstrations by members of the Nor’easters Kite Club from Portland.

Children are also encouraged to bring their bicycles to this event for a Bike Rally on Runway 17 and free spring safety check-ups offered by Bikesenjava of Rockland. Children can ride their bikes and trikes in the bicycle parade at noon. A special activity during the event will be a Cardboard Contraption Contest. Open to all ages, teams of up to four people will build a cardboard “vehicle” of their own design.

“This competition will be part artistic ability, part public spectacle and all fun,” said contest coordinator and Education Director Ethan Yankura.

Due to limited materials, registration is required. However, as many teams will be accommodated as possible. Children’s book author and illustrator Chris Van Dusen will hold a book signing for his book “If I Built a Car” beginning at 1 p.m. Copies of his books will be available in the museum store.

Other highlights will include high-wheel bicycle demonstrations, and free Model T rides for all. Kite-building workshops will be offered throughout the day, and there will be designated areas for kite flying as well as bicycle and tricycle riding. Youngsters who have participated or will be participating in the Soap Box Derby are encouraged to bring and display their derby cars alongside several of the museum’s early derby cars. An enclosed Kids Corral will have pedal cars and planes for younger children to enjoy.

If weather permits, the museum will offer rides aboard its 1933 Waco and 1941 Stearman biplanes during the day. Coastal Biplane Rides may be purchased at any time through the museum store. Rides are sold to members only, however. Ride certificates do not expire and are transferable. The Stearman carries one passenger and the Waco carries two passengers. The price is $200 and $350, respectively. The museum’s latest exhibition, “Horse Power,” will also be open for public viewing. The exhibition features horse-drawn wagons, a stage coach, carriages, sleighs, and carts used in early transportation and commerce. All other exhibits are open including displays of the museum’s antique automobiles, World War-I era airplanes, antique motorcycles, engines and more.

Gates open at 9:30 a.m., with most activities starting at 10 a.m. The rain date is April 25. Effective for 2010, the museum has announced free admission for all children under age 18. This includes daily admission as well as all special events this spring, summer and fall. The museum’s Under 18 Free initiative is sponsored in part by Camden National Bank. Adult admission for the family festival is $10. Open every day, year round, the Owls Head Transportation Museum is located at 117 Museum St. in Owls Head, two miles south of Rockland. For more information, call 594-4418 or visit owlshead.org.