September 23
Zero to Thirty in Lincoln City

Twenty Four years ago, I attended my first real kite event at the first Lincoln City Fall Kite Festival. Now we live just a few miles from the site and the festival is still going strong and getting better. Heck -- we could sleep in, drive to the event, and then come home after helping pack down the event tents!

Clown Banners

With the renewed involvement of the city's Visitor Bureau, Lincoln City is starting top feel like a serious event again. We had lots of fliers from throughout the Northwest, stunning sunny weather, large crowds, and even a few kite surfers on the large wet 'field' just west of the beach.

The weekend was only marred by one unfortunate incident.

Names aren't important here because no one did anything wrong and it could have happened to any of us. Saturday started clear and sunny but windless. That's typical on the beach. The sun heats up the land, the warm air rises, and then the cooler sea breezes moves in underneath to fill the void. Complete wind shifts around noon are common and expected. But the transition is expected to be gentle.

We were all struggling to get something in the air for the crowd when suddenly the wind shifted 180 degrees and gusted from near nothing to thirty in a matter of moments. A large soccer ball inflatable, fifteen feet in diameter, was spun around by the gust which of course created a hard jerk on the line when it repositioned. The line gave way and the ball began to roll downwind and through the entire event field. Safety announcements had been made all day but a child was playing near the ball and when it broke loose, the ball rolled over her and then the line caught her under the chin. The result was a line burn from ear-to-ear. An ambulance was called and the child later taken to the hospital for treatment. We all hope that she is well and un-scarred. It was a frightening incident that might have been much, much worse.

I'm sharing this story for two reasons -- first to remind you that accidents can happen even when the flier is acting prudently and responsibly. And second, I wanted to remind you that you really should be an AKA member and really should sanction your events. In this situation, neither was the case and both the flier and organizers are now wishing they had AKA insurance.

The day continued with strong winds but plenty of kiting activity. Kids programs filled one arena while sport kite demos thrilled spectators on the other. I even took a turn with a two-liner at the end of the day.

Saturday night we invited all the fliers up to the 'Gomberg Estate' for dinner on the deck. It was a beautiful warm Northwest night and a full moon illuminated our fellowship.

The next day, we returned to the beach for another successful festival day. A new Octopus was launched in the main arena and we welcomed the crowd to come in, one-by-one to feel the pull on the line. We called it Octopus Wrangling. "No charge" we said. "All you need to do is say something nice about Lincoln City".

All-in-all it was a good weekend and all of us are delighted to see this long-standing local event beginning to return to its potential.

Octopus Wrangling
Octopus Wrangling

Susie and I are looking at a busy week and then heading for Chicago Thursday. We'll be doing a show Saturday for Mayor Daley's Kite Festival at the Museum of Science and Industry. Then Sunday, we head for AKA in Ocean City Maryland.

See you out there somewhere!

You've seen our new Bubble Tubes and you've asked for them with Spikes.
God you guys are weird!

Spikey Bubbles

But if you want it, we'll make it! Spikey Bubbles are now available in your choice of colors in either the three or six bubble configuration. Prices are $85 and $150. And through October 15, they are marked down 20%.

Very weird....

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