Parkman – The skies above Parkman’s Overlook Park resembled a kaleidoscope last Saturday as the Parkman Chamber of Commerce held their 13th Annual Kite Festival. Kites of all shapes, colors and sizes dotted the vivid blue skies with beautiful colors as kids of all ages were at the park flying them. One could look up one minute and see a specific pattern made by the various kites that were airborn, look away, then look back and the pattern had changed, just like turning the dial on a kaleidoscope. The visual  was absolutely breathtaking.

DSCF1822The Ohio Society for the Elevation of Kites (OSEK), a kite flying club, was also on hand to help folks make, launch, fly and be educated in the are of kite flying and talking about kites.  The OSEK Members were very informative and launched a variety of kites that their member had brought with them.

The Kite Festival was all about kites, kids could learn how to make a kite and the OSEK members would help launch them. It was a family event, a time to kick back and enjoy life while either flying a kite or watching others as they did. Besides flying and making kites, folks could grab a bite to eat or a drink from the concessions on the grounds. There were  kites for sale as well.

The event attracted both Amish and “Yankee” families giving all an opportunity to reconnect with the simpler times and kick back to a stress-free day. Some families brought their own kites to fly while others took advantage of the make-and-take.

There were all sorts of kites flying. There were the more challenging four line kites and two line kites along with the single line ones. There were plenty of traditional diamond kites and bird-style ones, known as delta kites in the air. There were also some very elaborate ones. Some of the kites at the event that were flown were box kite, roller kites, revolution kite, which is a four line kite, arch kite, train kite, sled kites, airplane kites and a rokkaku.

Most of the elaborate kites were from the club members’ collection; in fact, one might compare their collection of kites to a fashionista’s shoes in the closets. One man said when he started flying kites he had a small car and a few kites, now he has to have a van so he can haul them all. He said the hobby is addictive.

OSEK member Harry Gregory from Streetsboro launched several unusual kites and was more than willing to talk kites, educate one on the art of flying them and help folks with their kites. Gregory also explained the styles and type of kites that were in the air.

DSCF1850I told Gregory that I always though of kite flying as child’s play, but now I see it is much more than that. Gregory responded “It still is, the kids just have gotten bigger and the “toys” more elaborate.” He was right; everyone was having a good time and they were either acting like kids or remembering what it was to be young again.

The kite festival ended with wind sprints contest where the first one to get their kite up and out a certain amount of feet won. I estimated they were going for about 30 feet out. They had four age groups six and under, 7-13 years, 14 – 18 years and 19 years and up. Prizes were awarded to the top competitions in each division.

Besides flying kites, kids could make kites, enter contests and enjoy concessions by the Parkman Chamber of Commerce. All in all, it was a great day to fly a kite.