The Wahkiakum County Eagle - Established as The Skamokawa Eagle in 1891

Kite festival success leads to calls for encore


September 28, 2017

Diana Zimmerman

A colorful display of kites filled the Skamokawa sky last Saturday for the first ever kite festival at Vista Park. It won't be the last.

There is something about a kite that seems to bring out the child in all of us. Perhaps it's the splash of color against the sky, the fun shapes and creatures, or the idea of flying. Whatever it is, there were a lot of happy faces at Vista Park on Saturday and excited talk about driving through Skamokawa to find a huge colorful display hanging from the heavens.

The first kite festival at Vista Park in Skamokawa is over, but it was such a hit that a date for the second annual kite festival has already been scheduled for June 23-24, 2018.

"This is a great venue," Theresa Norelius said. "The angle of the river is perfect for the wind, and we can camp here."

Norelius is the owner of an online store, The Kite Shoppe, based in Vancouver. She and her colleague Scott Weider, travel all over the states to events like this.

While Weider and five other kite enthusiasts maneuvered kites in formation, called mega flying, Norelius explained the different kites and displays set up around the park.

Diana Zimmerman

This group of kite enthusiasts were mega flying, or flying their quad kites in formation, while the fellow on the left called out commands.

Weider and friends were flying quads, which get their name from the four lines used to control them. One fellow gave out instructions like a square dance caller, asking them to turn their kites, hover, or slide. Whether they had flown together before or not, the only thing that mattered to the team was that they could control their kite.

There were the banners and ground display, which provide a bit of color before the wind picks up. There were the large inflatables which sat on the ground. Some kites were tied down, but their owners needed to practice what Norelius called "good maintenance," which meant that when the wind shifted, they needed to make sure that their kite did not cross lines with other kites.

The jargon seemed endless. There was line laundry, train stacks, and more.

Norelius, who had been in the kite business for years, was relaxed and happy.

"We're on kite time," she said.


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