Kite Fest in Geneva wasn’t exactly a breeze for fliers
By Denise Linke For The Courier-News September 21, 2012 5:19PM
Rayne Finney 6, of St. Charles, makes her own kite at the Kite Fest in Geneva on Saturday, September 15, 2012 at Peck Farm. | Terence Guider-Shaw~For Sun-Times Media
Updated: October 19, 2012 6:20AM
GENEVA — Mother Nature was not kind to the Geneva Park District’s second annual Kite Festival on Saturday.
Although Peck Farm Field shone beneath a sunny sky, the breeze-free air sent most of the 1,200 participants home in frustration halfway through the event.
But those who remained didn’t let the lack of wind spoil their fun.
“The big stunt kites aren’t able to stay up, but the little kites are easier to get up in these conditions, so people are still having a blast,” said Park District recreation supervisor Stacey Fedyski.
Holly Bongiorno’s three daughters happily decorated the free paper kites they received at the festival. All three drew crayon gardens with rainbows, though 4-year-old Annabella’s also boasted Ariel the Mermaid and a walking potato.
“We don’t fly kites a lot,” Bongiorno said. “... There’s no trees or neighbors’ yards here to lose kites in like there are at our house in Glen Ellyn.”
While neither 9-year-old Kayla nor 12-year-old Jessica could get their kites airborne, both accepted defeat philosophically.
“I’ll probably put my kite up on the wall in the basement just because it’s pretty,” Kayla said. “I can always take it back down and fly it later.”
Rayne Finney of St. Charles and DeKalb also drew a rainbow on her kite. But the 9-year-old focused more on the specialty kites being flown by representatives from Chicago Kite, who showed off their kite stunt skills whenever a breeze sprang up.
“Learning how kites fly will help me when I become an astronaut,” she said.
A few dozen people tried hard to get and keep kites up in the air. Batavia resident Ron Neal kept his airplane-shaped kite 20 feet aloft for nearly a minute by sprinting across the field.
“I’m trying to get the kite up for my 17-month-old son, and the only way to do it is by running too hard,” he said, panting.
Surprisingly, the two kites that soared gracefully 50 feet or more above the field belonged to two 8-year-old Geneva girls, who succeeded where many adults had failed. Neighbors Annika Eichstaedt and Jenna Conrad had two pieces of advice for other kite-fliers battling becalmed air.
“You can’t stop running,” Jenna declared. “Just keep doing laps while you let the string out.”
“You have to keep letting the string out,” Annika added. “A lot of people are too busy running and they forget that.”