Great Niagara Festival
I‘m flying home today from a delightful event in Niagara Falls.
Fliers from across the USA and Canada, and guests from Israel, Germany, England, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, and Switzerland took part in an exceptionally well-organized and well-supported festival.
Last year, Niagara conflicted with the AKA convention. But this year, the event was the weekend before. I flew in to work as the official announcer for the weekend. That gave me a front row seat for all the best action.
Like most large festivals, Niagara operated like a three-ring circus.
In the front ring, “dynamic” kite performers showcased maneuverable one-line, two-line, and four-line kites. I-Quad, Ray Bethell, the WindJammers, SkyBurner, and SkyJesters kept the crowd entertained.
In the second ring, “static” or “art kites” proliferated. Robert Trepanier, Kisa Sauer, Scott Skinner, Iqbal Husain, Jose Sainz, and Eli and Shula Shavit were among the performers that provided color and fun. Newcomer Kelvin Woods awed the kiters with his appliquéd Icon Kites and butterfly show.
Finally in the background, the third ring was the huge “show kites” that stopped traffic on the interstate. No Limit from Germany joined the Berkeley Kite Wranglers and Jenny Cook from Peter Lynn Ltd in New Zealand.
Crowds streamed in on the weekend and warm sunny weather offset the relatively light winds. Someone asked me if the sport kites were flown by remote control. The question was ironic since Malcolm Goodman had just set up “Charlie”, a mechanical sport kite flier. The little guy kept his half-size kite in the air with no problems. His performance was so realistic I wouldn’t have been surprised to see him down a beer afterwards.
Another crowd pleaser was Hailey, the kite-chasing dog. I hate to encourage shows like that since some people will think it is fun or fine to do anytime. But Hailey was a pro and had the crowd rooting for her. Duct tape patches attested to how often she won the duel.
The wake-up call came at 3:30 a.m. and I’m headed back to Portland with plans to drive straight up to Ocean Shores. Reports are that it is wet in the Northwest. That’s a shame for the convention. But if we can’t fly, we’ll just have to spend the time with friends telling stories….
Looking forward to flying with you!!
Check out this remarkable new kite from the folks at Peter Lynn Ltd. This is the first - and probably the last - Stars and Stripes Octopus. We’ve got it in Ocean Shores and if you like it, we can make it yours!
Giant Octos are currently selling for $4500. Call my call phone at 541-921-1281 and we’ll work something out.
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