Families and friends joined together when Longview lent its campus to the Flights of Fancy Mega Kite Festival. On April 20, the event brought together people of all ages to the annual event, which was on its sixth year. The festival’s activities for children included kite making, a balloon artist, face painting and kite flying; all who came were able to see mega kites fly through the sky, as well as stunt kites. Kites that ranged from original to Dora the Explorer flew through the sunny, spring sky.
“It’s great getting out to fly and to show what we can do,” said Terri Wible, a member on the board of the Kansas City Kite Club. Wible, who has been flying kites for 20 years, was one of the many people who attended the festival to fly their own kites. “I’m glad that there is such a good turn out, and to see so many enjoy the event,” said Wible. At the event, there was a kite hospital, where people could take their kites to get fixed, and some people from around the country set up tents to help people learn more about kites.
“We’ve attended Kite festivals in Japan, China, Denmark, Mexico, and all over the United States,” said Oklahoma native Richard Dermer. Aside from being a kite activist, Dermer and his wife own a pizza hot-spot called Hole in the Wall Pizza in Oklahoma. Dermer shows how anyone can be a kite-flyer, and that it can be truly an enjoyable experience, as he has done so for over 30 years.
The event itself originated with Lee’s Summit City Councilman Allan Gray, the honorary chair of the event. Gray helped with the concept and serves on the committee to provide moral support.
“It’s an exciting opportunity for Lee’s Summit. It encourages families to come out and have outdoor fun – young and hold and from all backgrounds,” said Gray. Gray spent the festival working with people and having a good time. “Kites are universal. It’s a wonderful feeling to know that all of this started with a simple conversation and to see Longview not just as a school, but as a community,” he said.
With a turn-out calculated at 20,000 people by the Lee’s Summit Fire Department, the Flights of Fancy Kite Festival allowed for many people to spend their Saturday amongst friends, family and peers with a beautiful, kite-filled view.