Expect big kites this weekend at annual KiteFestThe sky’s the limit for KiteFest this year, organizers say. KiteFest is an annual event in which kite enthusiasts from around the country share their hobby with the residents of Jamestown. The kites range from simple to sophisticated and pretty to precision-accurate.
The sky’s the limit for KiteFest this year, organizers say.
KiteFest is an annual event in which kite enthusiasts from around the country share their hobby with the residents of Jamestown. The kites range from simple to sophisticated and pretty to precision-accurate.
This is the 17th year for an event of its kind in Jamestown. It is one of the biggest in a four-state area, said Doug Hogan, director of the Jamestown Parks and Recreation Department.
“It’s absolutely incredible to see all those kites up in the air,” he said.
Hogan said the event costs about $8,000. Of that, Buffalo City Tourism gives the Parks and Recreation Department a $1,500 grant.
Local enthusiasts and organizers include Mike Gee and Chris Dodson.
Gee founded the Wings on Strings kite club in Jamestown and the city’s Kite Fest. Dodson took interest in kiting about 15 years ago. He’s competed and won awards in sport kiting and kite building. He also experiments with wind-driven musical instruments, or kites that make music, called aeolian.
“I’m one of the few guys in the U.S. doing this,” Dodson said, saying aeolian is popular in Europe.
Gee and Dodson are two kite enthusiasts planning to attend the festival. Others have hailed from as far away as Canada, New Jersey, Oregon and New Mexico.
The group 180 GO! of Illinois choreographs quad-line stunt kites to music.
“It’s just out of this world, what they can do,” Gee said.
Carveth and Luella Kramer of Taos, N.M., are here for KiteFest too. They’re touting their arsenal of kites including some they’ve made themselves and a 50-foot rainbow-colored fish. The couple displayed some of their kites at Meidinger Park Friday.
“These aren’t your store-bought kites,” Gee said.
Gee had also set up some of his kites Friday including a 45-foot-long three-dimensional, ghoul-looking kite called Spirit Man. Gee’s daughters, Erin, 9, and Kristen, 11, and their friend, Rachael Woodley, 9, maneuvered one of Gee’s stunt kites.
“You can make it go around in circles which I don’t know how to do,” Kristen said.
Gee said one of the reasons he got into kiting is because it is a wholesome, family activity that doesn’t need to cost too much.
In fact, children can make their own kites for free beginning at 10:30 today while supplies last. Hogan said about 250 children built kites last year. Kites will be available for purchase too.
And in between watching and flying kites, families can participate in the free inflatable air games provided by Victory Lutheran Church. The games are also located at Meidinger Park.
Concessions are available too as a fundraiser for the James River Figure Skating Club.
The event is set for 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.
Sun reporter Katie Ryan-Anderson can be reached at 701-952-8454 or by e-mail at email@example.com
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If you go to KiteFest:
* Where: Meidinger Park, 17th Avenue and 17th Street Southwest
* When: 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. today and Sunday
* Cost: free
* Parking available on north side of the park
* Victory Lutheran Church is sponsoring inflatable air games for children