Airwaves Kite Fest - April 11, 2010
I have attended a couple Kitefests since my first visit in 2006 but this is just the second time I've posted a page on the event. In years past, spinning tires played havoc with rain soaked grassy fields so parking is no longer permitted at the Kitefest itself. School buses shuttle attendees from nearby parking lots home to the former Voice of America broadcast site.. The VOA building has long held a museum but is now being restored and will soon be better than ever. Fortunately I grabbed a shot of the big octopus and other big kites as I walked through the VOA switching matrix. By the time I emerged, wind and the giant kites had dropped and the monsters would fly no more. The diminished wind was actually appreciated by United States Boomerang Association members giving demonstrations, a little training, and even a didgeridoo performance.

Then the sport kite folks took the field for some kite ballet. The breeze had picked up a little and these flyers don't need much anyway. It makes for a lot of work but good sport kiters can perform with almost no wind at all. Every sport kiter here today was a good one. The four kite formation belongs to the longest-running competitive sport kite team in the United States: the Chicago Fire. The single kite is a quad-line flown by Chicago Fire member Zach Gordon and capable of some extra impressive maneuvers. I failed to get the name of the three man team (3 Os?) but enjoyed watching them -- and several flyers I didn't get pictures of -- anyway. The Sky Jesters fill the next row. After the first tune, assistants attach tails to the kites and then attach even longer ones after the second tune. The long streamers look really cool in coordinated maneuvers. The last row is the Chicago Fire who ended the day's last performance with nice gentle landings.

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