Taking flight

Folks traveled from near and far to enjoy colorful kites flown by novices and trained stunt flyers alike at the Great Lakes Kite Festival.
Becky Vargo
May 19, 2014

Stunt kites danced to the beat of the song “Happy” on the center flying field, while on the other side of the beach a shark, penguin and plenty of octopuses fluttered in the sky.

Alan Sparling brought a giant shark kite along with a few other animals to the festival. He laughed when asked if he considers himself a professional kite-flyer. Sparling said that flying kites is more like a “hobby gone insane.” 

The Wisconsin Kiters Club dazzled the crowd with dolphins swimming in the air and at least 50 kites strung together across the blue sky. This was club member David Piotrowski’s fourth year at the Kite Festival and he said there were at least 15 to 20 of their bright kites on the beach at any given time.

The crisp, yet sunny weather didn’t keep anyone away as families and couples meandered along the Grand Haven State Park beach Saturday, pointing out small stunt kites as well as those the size of school buses. 

The Great Lakes Kite Fest kicks off the festival-every-weekend season in the Tri-Cities, and is estimated to attract 35,000 people and generate $1 million for the local economy.

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