This weekend was scheduled for the "Air Waves" kite festival, held at the Voice of America park. Saturday poured rain, but Sunday was hot and with steady 20 mph breezes.
It took a long time to reach the festival -- too many cars clogging things up -- but it was worth the hassle.
The first thing you saw was a large population of little kids -- around kindergarten or first grade. A large building was set up to "help" the kids learn how to make kites, then off the kids went towing their parents to try and fly their "signed" creations.
With so much wind there was no chance that most of these kites would ever fly. The parents, for the most part, didn't know any more about flying kites than their kids did! No Ben Franklin wannabes in this crowd. You'd see folks trying to fly kites on 20 or 30 feet of line instead of the couple of hundred feet needed to loft and control. And tails? Naah, maybe a few plastic streamers more for decoration than balance.
What made the whole thing so wonderful was the kids. What they couldn't do for real, they were actively doing in their imaginations. They (and their parents) were feeling the excitement of flight, dreaming of being up in the sky with the kites, swooping, diving, climbing, free but controlled, tethered safely to the ground after all.
Of course there were monster kites, team-controlled kites, box kites, bird kites, and every kind of kite. But what really went up into the air were the spirits and imaginations of the kids and parents. We all felt it, and it was worth feeling.
Here's a link to my photo essay covering the day. Hope I've done it justice.
Up and Away at the Kite Festival