June 14, 2009
15 Years in North Dakota

Quiz time! Where is the Buffalo Capital of North America?? Here's a hint -- for 15 years they have hosted a fine regional kite event. Another hint? I'm flying home from that event today. If you answered Jamestown, North Dakota, you would be absolutely correct!


Now to be fair, Jamestown is not Long Beach or Sunfest. The festival does not rival our larger kite spectacles. But measured by the loyalty of the fliers who come from as far as Illinois, Wisconsin, New Mexico, or Iowa, this is a major event indeed. Judging the number and enthusiasm of the spectators, turnout here is proportionately higher than the largest events I've seen. And measured by the support of the local community, this event is a huge success!

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And please understand that the spectacle is there too! Al Sparling, Larry and Kay Day, and Mark Brandt worked to keep a big show in the sky as conditions varied from light and swirly to downright gusty. And all weekend long, 180 Go demoed quads in the main show arena.

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Several years ago in Swift Current, I encountered the kite "passport". Brochures with photos of the kite guests were distributed to kids who then collect autographs to win prizes. I brought the concept back to Lincoln City, and Jamestown brought it to North Dakota. The result was families running up to me all weekend asking if I was Larry Day or Dale Bowden. But the kids were remarkably polite and careful around our lines and anchors.

Bol Racing

A rok fight and candy drop were popular on Saturday. And whenever winds were light, Bol Races were run on the main field.

Several fliers had our ten foot baskets which are ideal for "Running". You can strap on one large contestant or several smaller ones. We've even run families against each other.

Al Sparling unfurled his giant, 75 foot Basket which had recently returned from a refurbishing and repair trip to Texas.

And ringing the entire arena were banner shows from Wisconsin, New Mexico, and Nebraska. Jeff Hale set up a full 40 piece exhibition at the downwind edge of the festival which was a wonderful show but sadly, too big for most photos.

Other fliers on the field included LeAnn and Dennis Lauer, Carveth an Luella Kramer, Deb Lenzen and Mike Shaw.


Last week I mentioned that two guys -- Chris Dodson and Mike Gee have been making this all happen for Jamestown for the past 15 years. They have worked so successfully with the City that their two-member kite club now has an officially designated, permanent city park kite flying field -- complete with signage and restrooms. And the buffalo are kept off the field.

Well done guys! Thanks for your hard work and congratulations on your obvious success.

Another quiz!

Who "invented" Bol Racing?? Here's a hint. We called it 'The Running of the Bols' and used the 10 foot basket. The first race was uphill in Berkeley and the winner was Brian Champie. He said it was the only race he had won in 20 years. Another hint? The inventor's wife said it was a crazy idea that would never catch on.... ;)

Guess right, and get 20% off on any size bol between now and July 15.

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Bol Racing

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