Hoosier Kitefliers Society
The first Soar into the Sky event at George Rogers Clark National Historical Park in Vincennes was deemed a success in spite of the kite-eating trees (see carnage photos below) and the gusty winds. The weather forecast called for a partly cloudy day with temperatures in the 50s-60s range, which felt quite nice after the iffy start of spring the Midwest has had. The setting was kind of tranquil with the Wabash River running beside the park grounds. The main drawbacks were the winds that averaged 25mph and the gusts topping out at 45-50mph! Needless to say, lines broke, bridles broke, and kites flew into trees. However, the park rangers were prepared with a ladder and reaching “gizmo” standing by at the ready. Ultimately, they were able to retrieve all but one kite from the branches that held them in a rather tight grip.
The kite making workshop was split into two separate areas: one for decorating and one for assembling. When the assembly tent first opened for business, the lines were a bit long at first but they slowly began to move along as the novice volunteers got the hang of how to put the sleds together. Since the event happened on April 2, it was nice to have a chance to be outside in non-freezing fresh air, to let our hands and faces soak up some sunny vitamin D after a long winter hibernation, and to see families romping around with the kites they made as well as a few store-bought ones. Clark and Angie had the opportunity to help a few flyers untangle lines, straighten out bridles, speak briefly to a newspaper reporter, help a newbie learn to fly a dual-line, and generally spread some kiting good cheer.
In a follow-up email, one of the park rangers commented that the event drew an estimated 200 people, received many positive comments from the public, and the “superintendent was very pleased with the event and has already started talking about doing the event next year.” While the flying area limited where people could fly safely, there’s a chance another location might be considered for any future event. ☼