Yesterday I touched on the challenge of finding quality flow form kites. Higher quality ones from Air Affairs (Suttons) and HQ, including HQ’s larger power sleds, are out of production. And on the large side, Jordan kites were out of production long before I even got back into kiting (As recently noted, Rod Thrall is the only licensed builder). A Jordan 200-plus is something to behold!
While hard to come by, large kites and interest in large kite flying – at least in my neck of the woods – are alive and well. Showkites are changing hands and kiters are ordering from Peter Lynn and foreign manufactures. Add to that, a healthy influx of interest in kite festivals, thanks to a tight knit chamber of commerce community coalescing around the value of kite festivals as a source of joy, community engagement and economic prosperity.
The Clear Lake (IA) Chamber of Commerce did a phenomenal job taking on the world’s largest winter kite festival, Color the Wind, last month with 20,000-plus visitors at the single-day event. And as word spreads through the power of social media, we’ve seen the Buffalo (MN) Area Chamber of Commerce go all-in with an American Kitefliers Association-sanctioned event, the Kites On Ice Festival, in this, its fourth year.
Additionally, the Okoboji Winter Games Kite Festival ratcheted it up a notch with 80-plus kites in the air and thousands of spectators this year. And even little ole Iron Mountain, MI welcomed the Upper Peninsula’s first-ever kite festival – Kites Over Awesome Lake Antoine.
And as we speak, the Wisconsin Kiters Club is currently exploring festivals with the Rice Lake (WI) Chamber of Commerce, the Deforest Windsor (WI) Chamber of Commerce and the Sister Bay (WI) Advancement Association.
By all accounts, when it comes to big kiting, things are indeed looking up!