May 30, 2012
A Grand Time at Great Lakes!
Guest Update by Alan Sparling

As I drove around the base of Lake Michigan heading to Grand Haven for my 20th consecutive Great Lakes Kite Festival, I thought about how the festival has changed over the years. The first few years that I attended this festival it was a major sport kite competition, drawing competitors from many states and even hosting the All American championships one year. Over the years as kiting has changed, so has Great Lakes, it has morphed into a huge fun fly that still draws fliers from many states.

Field Shot with Chicago Fire

This year was blessed with warm temperatures and good winds on all three days. Friday was mainly a day for fliers to relax and enjoy themselves and fly a few kites for the press. On the big kite field i flew with Jeff Kuhns, Darryl Waters and other friends, Jeff flew his large Martin Blais Air Guitar and I got out the world's dirtiest Gecko (That yellow has picked up dirt on four continents and never let any of it go!). The AKA Region Six director Ed Grys was flying a Peter Lynn horse that also grabbed a lot of attention.

Friday Big Kite Field Saturday Big Kite Field Sunday Big Kite Field

The Air Guitar, Horse and Jellyfish were new to the big kite field this year.

Guitar Horse Jellyfish

In an interesting take on KAP, Sam Ritter mounted a tiny video camera on his stack of Revs and took some interesting video. He was generous and made me a couple of screen captures for this update. Thanks Sam!

Gecko from Above Rev Stack

All three days of the festival were full of demos from the Chicago Fire, the Windjammers, iQuad, Fire and Ice, Sam Ritter, Lee Sedgwick and many others. Dave Bush got pulled around by his large delta, Thor's Hammer, flying in winds that finally folded it in half. I expect that Dave is still trying to get sand out of places I don't want to think about.

Windjammers iQuad Sam and Lee Thors Hammer

Talking about rooting around in the sand, Lee did his novel take on a candy drop again this year. Dropping candy from a cup attached to his Rev stack, he tortured the kids and made them run for their candy. This year he added Sam Ritter's video camera to get us a unique perspective on the candy drop.

Candy Drop Candy Drop

In addition to his "normal" demos with Rev stacks and his UFO, Lee Sedgwick thrilled the kids, (young and old), in the audience with massive quantities of bubbles. He has done bubbles at this event in the past, but never with such massive success!

Bubbles Bubbles

New this year were demos by the US boomerang team. They are the current world champions and proved how good they were by performing in much windier conditions than I have ever seen anyone throw a boomerang in. While the coach was on the microphone unnecessarily lowering expectations, team members repeatedly put on a great show.

Boomerang Boomerang

Back from previous years, the indoor fly continues to draw local residents. Rising above a few sound glitches, the fliers kept everyone entertained for over an hour. Also returning were the night fly, kite boarding demos and a bouncy house for kids. Lynn and Steve Negen continue to put on a great event year after year without it getting stale.

On a personal note, I would like to thank Sam Ritter and Tina from Mackinaw Kites and Toys for providing pictures.

We're phasing out the stock SkyForms with whit etops. And that means you get a deal!

List prince on the Skyform 60 is $195. I have red/white/blue, or red/white/blue/black keels. Order one while supplies last, and we'll take 20% off! That's $155.

Order a matching streamer and we'll give you 10% off the tail too!


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