Sue Kiesewetter reports
The skies of West Chester Township will be full of color, strings and tails this Saturday and Sunday when the WGUC Airwaves KiteFest comes to the Voice of America Park.
Now in its eighth year, the festival runs from noon to 5 p.m. both days at the park. Depending on weather, organizers say there could be 13,000 to 15,000 kite enthusiasts over the two year festival.
“This is the first big spring event,’’ said Kevin Reynolds, community relations manager for WGUC. “The kids can run flying the kites, they can run for the parachute run. That’s one of the appeals to families – having the kids outside and being able to run.”
Two professional kite flying teams – Chicago Flyer and 180 Go – will have their kites in the air all afternoon both days. Team members will provide ongoing demonstrations and lessons.
New to this year’s festival is the addition of the United States championship boomerang team. They will alternate performances with the kite-flying clubs.
Kite making workshops will be ongoing for children, or families can bring their own kites to fly. Kits from two different vendors will be available, starting at $3. There will be a field behind the museum designated for children to fly their kites
Separate areas will be designated for kite flying lessons or demonstrations, kite clubs, big kites, open flying and each professional kite team will have its own field.
There will be space for concessions and an eating tent along with a kid’s area, balloon animals from noon to 2 p.m., each day, air brush tattoos from 3-5 p.m. both days.
A parachute run field will be marked for children. As kids run, a parachute in a harness they wear opens and flies into the air.
“It shows them the power of the wind,’’ Reynolds said. “The faster they run will open the parachute quicker but slow them down.”
The Cincinnati Zoo will bring animals to the children’s area from noon to 2 p.m., both days.
All parking will be offsite at the West Chester Medical Center, 7700 University Dr. There will be free shuttle buses to the KiteFest. Limited handicap parking will be available at the park.
There is no admission charge but attendees will be asked for a $2 parking donation that will benefit the Voice of America museum.
The festival is sponsored by WGUC, West Chester Township, MetroParks of Butler County, Pigs Aloft Kite Club, Thompson Plumbing, Heating and Cooling, and the Otto M. Budig Family Foundation.
For more information about the event, visit AirWavesKiteFest.com.