Flyer has a sport kite on a short line to reduce drag during this flight in light wind.

The Ninth Annual Up In The Air event was held at Prairie Fields Sports Park, 1111 Fairgrounds Road, on Saturday, Sept. 10 from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m. The event was free with free activities, but there were also activities where a fee was required. Attendees could purchase an Unlimited Activity wristband for $20 (face painting and tye dying excluded), 22 tickets for $20, or one ticket for $1. Most activities required two to four tickets.

The business, Chicago Kite, helped organize the event and had an enchanting array of colorful sport and fantasy kites. Bring your own or buy one while you’re there. Chicago Kite will be there to share their know-how with high-flying tips.

Plus, this family friendly event will include: activity stations, craft areas, face painting, tye dying, rock climbing, inflatables, and mini train rides. Local food trucks including Sips & Sprinkles, Big Jon’s Dogs & More, The Vintage Goose and Pizza Fresca were on hand.

“It’s a fun family event for the community to enjoy,” said Aly Graham, Superintendent of Recreation.  “We have kites, entertainment, and food. We have free face painting, tie dye, inflatables, and fun games. We are giving away promotional items. We have the Health Dept. here as well.

“The Chicago Kite Flyers are here to demonstrate sport kites and commercial kites. We have an area for the public to fly kites as well. This area is separate from the commercial kites to prevent lines from being tangled.

“We are having beautiful weather. We are excited.”

The Boone County Health Dept. was on hand to promote their upcoming Boone County Vaccination Block Party on Thursday, Sept. 15, from 2 to 6:30 p.m. at 1204 Logan Ave. They will have free COVID-19 vaccines for kids 6 months to 11 years – by appointment only. Officer Tim Blankenship will be handing out ice cream sandwiches, there will be a taco truck, a free book handout, outdoor games and activities. The Belvidere Fire Dept. will be there to do car seat checks and Touch a Truck.

Gina Igazzitto said, “I fly kites for relaxation. Kites are good for body, mind, and soul. It is good exercise, it is very relaxing, and it is peaceful. You can be any age to fly a kite.

“Most kites out here are totally maneuverable. The four-line kites can be steered forward, backward, or side-to-side. The huge kites are not up yet because there is not enough wind. They are waiting out there. We have kite fliers here from Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin, Baltimore, Cincinnati, as well as from Chicago.”

“It’s wonderful,” said another kite flyer, Roger. “Once we have our kites, all we need is wind. You don’t need expensive golf clubs, a membership, or a tee time. You can fly a kite for an hour or, if the wind is good, it is super exciting and you can fly until dark. And each kite has its own personality. Today the wind is light so we are sitting here talking about kites. We have kites made for light wind. We have kites made for 30 mph winds. We can always fly.

“When they fly teams, usually fly coordinated, they often fly to music. It is easier to fly sport kites in light wind with a short line (about 30 feet) to reduce drag on the kite.

“Kite flyers have higher standards. They just announced that it is a beautiful day. Kite flyers want a beautiful day and wind. If there is wind, it’s a shame to stop flying for any reason. Today there is no wind to light wind. It is the first time at this event that we have not had a good wind. The kite group Wings Over Washington is here.”

“We come from Milwaukee, Wisc.” Said Catheryn Pecrowoki. “This is my husband’s favorite field. It is open and there is almost always good wind. There is a flying event there today, but this is my husband’s favorite field. This is challenging because, unlike every other time we have been here, there is no wind.

“So, I am concentrating on ground displays. One of the things that has been happening is the kite train – about 50 connected kited that is designed for very light wind. Even the sport kites are having trouble right now.”

Kites have a long and varied history and many different types are flown individually and at festivals worldwide. Kites may be flown for recreation, art or other practical uses. Sport kites can be flown in aerial ballet, sometimes as part of a competition.

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