May 24, 2010
Grand Haven -- 50% Perfect

GH Mist

Grand Haven was perfect. Well, Sunday was perfect. Saturday sucked.

We suffered though heavy mist or fog most of the day that made it impossible to see the kites. Winds were up and down which mean't that the large kites needed constant attention.

And it was muggy/hot.

Basically, it was an awful day.

But Sunday was almost ideal with smooth clean winds all day. Put a kite up and it stayed there. It was warm and sunny and the fields were packed with people. If there was any downside at all, it was that some of the spectators were more interesting to look at then the kites were....

This was Grand haven't 22nd year. It is a straight forward and predictable festival which runs well. Everyone knows their job and what to expect. Fields are well marked and we had virtually no problems with people stepping over the tape and into harm's way.

Festival Kites Festival Kites Festival Kites

On the north field, we launched large kites. Al Sparling, Daryl Waters, and myself put up the biggest ones. We had Trilobites, Squids, Manta Rays, Octopus, and a big stack of Bears. The show kites flew directly opposite the park entrance and made for a dramatic entrance to the event.

Also working the Show field were Mark Ledvina, Dale Sylvester, and John Hall.

Festival Kites Festival Kites Festival Kites

Center field and next to the Mackinaw Kite tent were the sport kite demos. Chicago Fire, the Windjammers, and I-Quad were the backbone of the program together with Lee Sedgwick and Sam Ritter. They took turned all day delighting the crowd.

At one point, someone approached the announcer to say that the ballet were wonderful, but "those big balloons downwind are awfully distracting...."

Sport Kite Demos Sport Kite Demos Sport Kite Demos

Speaking of announcing, the commentary at Grand Haven is as good as anywhere. Fliers on all the fields are introduced and highlighted. Simply put, it is nice to get treated the same as the performers on the main sound field.

Further south is an open area for art kites.

This year, Rob Brassington from Tasmania brought a stunning collection that fascinated and delighted everyone. We'll see Rob next week in Wildwood too.

Grand Haven is hosted by Steve Negen and Mackinaw Kites. Each year they erect a huge sales tent on the beach as part of the festival.

The warm weather brought out huge crowds Sunday. Some stayed overnight at the adjacent campgrounds. Others drove or walked in for the day.

Art Kites

No Animals

We packed up Sunday night with a satisfied sense that we'd flown well and that a good number of folks appreciated the show. By then, we're forgotten Saturday altogether.

I'm home for two days and then off to Wildwood. See you there!!

Did you notice that mid-sized Squid in the photos above?? We took it to Grand Haven for some testing. But now that it has been flown, we need to mark it down.

List price is $1400. But you can be flying it before the Holiday Weekend for just $1150. Give us a shout.

Al Sparling also flew is GomRev. We have a few of these limited edition pieces in our beach store for $350. But we'll send one to Update Readers for $300.

Let's go on Safari!

Thanks to the delightful design work of Pedro and Estaban Gonzalez, we're now offering four African Animal Foils.

Safari Safari Safari Safari

We've got the Zebra, the Giraffe, the Hippo and the Elephant.

The Elephant is the largest -- 13 feet wide -- and stable enough to work as a lifter. The long trunk stretches to 25 feet. Each of the other kites is about 9 feet tall and includes a black tube and drogue.

Choose any one of these large pieces for $550. Order three and take off 20%

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