Oregon Coast
July 24, 2007
Southern Oregon Kite Festival in Brookings

Big Sur, the Barrier Reef, Black Beaches of Hawaii, or the Garden Route off Cape Town – I’ve been privileged to see many breathtaking coastlines. But nothing matches Southern Oregon for rugged stunning beauty.

The Brookings Kite Festival is now in its 15th year. A few miles north of the California border, Brookings is in what we call Oregon’s “Banana Belt”. The weather is warm, gracious and uncharacteristically dry for the Northwest. The coastline is magnificent! And the people are among the most appreciative I’ve ever flown for.

Brookings Show Brookings Show Brookings Show Brookings Show

Brookings is more of a showcase than a festival. The grassy space is not much larger than a football field and there is no room for general flying. Instead all the performers are scheduled for five minute displays. Sport kiters fly ballet, and single liner exhibitors recruit friends to loft themed shows. The parade goes on all day with each flier getting two or three turns in the spotlight. Announcer Arnold Stellema is among the best I’ve ever heard at a kite event.

Brookings Field

So how appreciative are the spectators? Friday it rained and Saturday dawned misty and damp. When I arrived at the field, people were already lined up to claim spaces with their lawn chairs, plastic tarps, and golf umbrellas.

Brookings Kids Brookings Kids Brookings Kids Brookings Kids

The program began promptly at ten. The Bay Area Sundowners and IQuad were clearly crowd pleasers. But so were the sport kite performances of Gary MacEachern, Al Washington, Susan Shampo and Al Stroh. The Rogue Valley Windchasers regularly sent flocks of kites into the air.

Penny the Clown

What started damp got better all day. By Sunday, sunscreen had replaced rain gear.

Ron and Sandy Gibian, Ellen Pardee, Barry Poulter, and John and Mary Gabby set up a constant parade of art kites across the field.

Rod and Cindy Thrall pulled out a Giant Teddy Bear and physically towed it across the small field.

Penny Lingenfelter changed costumes for each act, appearing as a pirate, leprechaun, clown, and finally as the Cat in the Hat – accompanied each time by a supporting cast of performers recruited from the sidelines.

Setting up a large display for a five minute performance can be an intense effort. And of course, large kites fly safer with secure anchors. You don’t get those on a rotating showcase field. But what you do get is the focused attention of the announcer and the public when you are on stage.

Brookings has made the most of their limitations. They developed a program that works. And in the process, they have recruited much of best kite talent from the West Coast.

Crowns

Tran Tails

Special Transition Tails:

Miami and Phoenix are special colors of Transition Tails we are now offering. However, the first run came in with a slight color variant. Instead of a black divider, we got a white one. Looks pretty good but not what we put in our catalog or matched up with several of our new kite styles. No worries! We’ll just offer them at a special price! Order the 48 foot “white versions” of Miami or Phoenix at three for $45. That’s a great deal since the list price is $24 each!

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