Hoosier Kitefliers Society
(This article originally appeared in the July, 2011 issue of "Ride the Wind.")
If you build it, they will come. And, oh, boy, did they! The first annual Kite Komotion in the northern Indiana tourist destination of Shipshewana was huge! We built over 200 sled kites in just under 2 hours and the demo fliers had all the wind they could handle. The Amish community came out in buggies, surreys, and on bicycles. Their obvious infatuation with what they were watching was very evident. The candy drops were an exteme hit with the kids and the parents seemed to enjoy watching the mad scramble for the sweets falling from the sky.
Demo fliers Dave Bush, Kathy Brinnehl and Paul Koepke (Fire and Ice), The Windjammers, and Elizabeth Gordon, just to name a few, were watched in awe all day. They did great jobs in winds that were way too strong for enjoyable flying but the show must go on.
After seeing Dave (Mr. Incredible) sitting in the grass talking to an obviously curious Amish family, I believe the professionals enjoyed it as much as the spectators. A gentleman I talked with at the end of the day had his bike packed for the ride home with a new Nexus sport kite and a couple of ground display whirly-gigs. He was amazed after watching the five-man Windjammer sport kite team flying their stacks in 20-plus mph winds. He asked me, "How do they do that?" I told him, "I don't know. Magic, I guess."
Mike and Pat Bragg, Dick and Terri Claycomb went up on the Friday before the fly and set up the demo field, open fly area and the learn-to-fly field. Angie and I managed to make it up there just as all the work was done. I felt bad that they had to leave and would not be able to attend the following day until I found out the organizers took them all out to lunch at the Blue Gate restaurant, a Shipshewana land mark.
Lynn Warner was there and on Saturday he flew his lattice delta all day long and took time to help the sled kite workshop. Angie and I managed to help there also. Now I really know why they are called workshops. Jay Farlow and his wife Peggy were in attendance with Jay doing a great job on the PA system all day long. Jim Belknap also made the trip up. Be sure to ask him about his new recumbant trike. (I want one. Angie said no -- again.)
Thanks to all who made the day a great success and to the sponsors and organizers who are already planning for next year. Thanks, also, to the Amish community which made our day. I do not ever remember being thanked so much for doing something that we all enjoy anyway.
Here are links to two videos taken at the event and a newspaper article from the Goshen News: