by Helen Colella
Spring brings sunshine, warm temperatures, crocus and daffodils, sprouting green grass, garden planning, and kites! That’s right…it’s kite flying season.
Before long you’ll be able to look skyward and view a gallery of art dancing in the breeze. But why just watch? Why not participate? Why not fly your own kite?
Kites of different size, shape, color and design will soon be dancing through the sky. Many will do loop-dee-loops. Some will soar high above the trees. Others will swoop and sag. Yet one thing they will all do is bring smiles and looks of awe.
Kites come in different designs: birds, flowers, famous characters, crazy colorful designs and more. They take flight in the form of box kites, Eddy kites, stunt kites, and windsocks. Each one soars with a grace of its own. Each one delights all who watch them soar in the wispy wind. Each one is unique.
But did you know that kites were originally used as signaling devices for the Chinese military, as far back as 1,200 B.C.? Through the use of colors, patterns, and precise air movements, coded messages were sent from camp to camp in a time- saving fashion, quite often saving the lives of those in jeopardy. Kites and their communicative skill caught on and spread to India and Europe. But eventually technology replaced this purpose and kite flying became a fun activity.
April is National Kite Month and with more than 200 kite festivals and workshops planned across the country you can fly your kite in good company and they’re great family events If you’re interested, there’s a few “around the neighborhood” to think about attending. April 9 offers two choices this year: Arvada Kite Festival: Let’s Fly a Kite and Denver 9th Annual Kite Festival at Robby Ferrufino Park. Check www.arvada.org/arts-and-culture/kite festival and www.denver.org/events/details?e=441089518 for more information.
If you’rer traveling and you’d like to learn more about the events scheduled across the country, how to organize your own event, find the closest kite store, or see simple plans for a kite you can make, visit our web pages at www.AKA.Kite.org or www.KiteTrade.org.
Remember Mary Poppins? Her song ‘Let’s Go Fly a Kite’? Why not rent the movie then take her advice? Go fly a kite!
Go to the local discount store. They should be stocking up on the new kite designs for 2011. Check out the kite-specialty stores in our area:
- Longmont: Hobby Town USA on Main Street,
- Boulder: Into the Wind on the Pearl Street Mall,
- Golden: Wizard of the Wind on Braun Drive,
- Estes Park: Estes Kite & Gifts on Moraine Street.
Then again, if you’re an aficionado of the kite culture visit www.kitesrus.com to buy a unique kite or just to appreciate what’s new in the world of kites.
If you’re creative and like hands-on projects, make your own. Check out www.mby-best-kite.com for easy, clear directions on all sorts of kite styles. Or just tie a long string onto a large sized trash bag, run the field and see how high it soars. Use this as a fun game with friends to see who gets the kite up in the air first, whose kite soars the highest and whose kite stays up the longest.
Overall, it doesn’t matter what kind of material you use, its size or shape, or how you get your kite. Just find one you think is perfect for you, go to the park or a nearby open field and fly it…It’s fun!
Is it fun? Oh yes! But did you know there are a few kite-flying safety considerations to keep in mind:
- Never use wire for a flying line.
- Never fly a kite near electric lines, telephone wires, or antennas.
- Don’t climb trees or poles to rescue your kite.
- Never fly your kite in rain or thundershowers.
- Don’t fly your kite near a highway or street, or in the traffic pattern of an airport.
- Avoid flying your kite near a tree, tall building, or other object where it could snag it.
- Never use a wet flying line.
- Wear sturdy gloves when flying a hard-pulling kite.
Happy Winds to all.