Annual kite-flying festival coming to Clear Lake

Published 9:00 am Sunday, February 5, 2017

Winters in the Midwest can be harsh, thus limiting many outdoor activities, according to a press release.

The town of Clear Lake, Iowa, has several remedies for this: Christmas by the Lake, ice fishing tournaments, snowmobile races, the Buddy Holly Winter Dance Party and the Color the Wind Kite Festival.

Each year, on the third Saturday in February, serious kite fliers from at least eight states descend on Clear Lake with their intent to brighten the skies above the frozen lake with colorful kites of all shapes and sizes.

“There will be kites flown during the event on (Feb. 18) that have never been seen here before,” said event organizer Larry Day. “One that will warrant a lot of attention is a space alien seen sitting atop his spaceship. Crowd favorites that will be back are the galloping horses, Whiskers the cat, the big 60-foot whales, Day’s trademark kite, Buddy”the 40-foot teddy bear plus many more.”

The kite ballets are choreographed to music and performed by the stunt kite teams of 180GO and Fire and Ice. Both teams will perform periodically throughout the day. Announcements and music will be provided by Craig “Mr. Kite” Christensen from Webster.

Everyone is invited to bring their own kite to join the fun out on the ice. If you don’t have one, you can purchase one from the kite shop that will be set up inside the Lakeview Room, directly across the street from the flying field. Hot lunches will be available on site at the Rings and Things lunch wagon.

There will be a public wine and cheese reception Feb. 17 at Clear Lake Arts Center. Many of the kite pilots will be there to meet and visit with. The Art Center will also be open on Saturday to check out after the festival.

Depending on wind conditions, kites will start to go up on the frozen lake at the west end of Main Street at about 11 a.m. Feb. 18. The show will continue until about 4 pm. Those attending are advised to dress warmly, come early, stay late, bring blankets and lawn chairs and join others to camp out and picnic on the frozen lake.

The event is free thanks to the support of various local civic groups, businesses and the Clear Lake Chamber of Commerce. For more information and updates, see the website www.colorthewind.org.