Kite Site, 1075 Wisconsin Ave. Nw. Spring

hours: Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m. to midnight; Sunday, noon to 5 p.m. 965-4230.

Next weekend Washington becomes Kite City. Saturday is the big kite thing at the west side of the Washington Monument, the annual competition of homemade kites, dipping and soaring and whirling and sometimes crashing. Register before noon with your own creation; prizes will be given for the prettiest, funniest and such. Or just go to cheer the others.If it rains, come back the next day. For information call 391-6725.

If you prefer more localized competition, try Alexandria's Chinquapin Park (3210 King St.), also March 26, for the 2 p.m. kite competition. They are having workships from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. To register for the workshop or the competition call 750-6325.

So you know where to show your kite. But do you know how to make your kite or where to get materials for its creation? The Kite Site, celebrating its first spring in Georgetown, knows all about how to build kites. It is stocking a full range of materials to do the job and a great variety there is. To start with frame materials, one can choose bamboo - the oldest material - or more contemporary alternatives like fiberglass or aluminium tubing, as well as several kinds of wood. You can connect the kite's posts with Velcro, grommets or surgical tubing. Then the showy part, the covering material, which can be as simple as colored tissue or model airplane paper or as elaborate as vinyl, Mylar, nylon or more esoteric synthetics. You can buy these in many colors, in sizes from one inch up, and until midnight on weekends if that is when the kite necessity strikes.