Families flying high after Oak Brook’s ‘50 Kites’
Steve Miedona of Oak Brook gives his son Steve Jr., 11, tips on how to keep his kite aloft as the Oak Brook Park District celebrated its 50th anniversary with a kite-flying event, "50 Kites for 50 Years," on Saturday. | Photos by Jon Langham~for Sun-Time
Updated: June 25, 2012 1:15AM
Dragons, large butterflies, pirate ships, squids and even a mammoth, “super bee,” took to the sky in celebration of the Oak Brook Park District’s 50th anniversary season.
Families gathered in Central Park to fly kites during the Park District’s “50 Kites for 50 Years” event Saturday, which featured demonstrations from members of Chicago Kite.
Park District employee Nancy Strathdee and her 11 year-old daughter, Meghan, made a quick stop at Wal-Mart to purchase a couple kites before heading to the open fields.
“I was able to get it pretty high,” Meghan said. “I like flying kites. It’s pretty cool.”
Soaring above the crowd was the star of the event, the 100-foot-long, yellow and black “super bee.”
The large kite was anchored to the ground with a 42-inch stake and soared 180 feet in the air.
Mike Hall of Chicago Kite was busy keeping an eye on the behemoth, using his skill to occasionally direct the kite to keep it from dropping back to the ground.
“It’s almost like a parachute formed into a kite,” Hall said. “The kite portion is 18-feet long and the tail is 82 feet. We call it a show kite and you can see it from up to one mile away.”
Scattered around the soccer fields were families busy assembling their kites and doing their best to get them up into the air.
Elmhurst resident Vikram Sule has been a kite flyer since he was young and took his sons, Veer, 7, and Ved, 3, out for their first time.
“I’m here to have a good time with my children and show them the simple pleasures of flying a kite,” Vikram said.
Nearby was 6-year-old Shiv Goel, whose kite was soaring the highest in the field, even flying above the, “super bee.”
His mother, Shelly, was amazed at just how high her son was able to fly the kite all by himself.
“It’s incredible,” Shelly said. “He never flew a kite until last year and this is only his second time.”
Shiv was out of slack, but had no trouble keeping his kite high in the air.
“I was just walking and it flew up,” he said. “I thought the little kite would work best. It’s amazing.”
After an afternoon of flying, Wood Dale resident Sandy Brown packed up her two panda bear kites which she purchased last year in Washington, D.C. at the National Kite Fly. Brown enjoys the quiet activity and passed the skill on to her own children.
“We fly every spring,” Brown said. “All the years my kids grew up, there was always a new kite in their Easter baskets just like when I was young.
“Before the end of the year, they usually end up in a tree so we’ve been lucky with these.”
District’s history, Page 12