Democrat Photo by Matthew A. Youngfrau
READY FOR TAKEOFF: This demonstration kite or should it be called kites? was one of several that professional kite enthusiasts brought with them to Saturdays Kite Festival at Sullivan County Community College in Loch Sheldrake.
Kite Festival Draws Thousands
By Matthew A. Youngfrau
LOCH SHELDRAKE May 9, 2000 -- As the weather gets warmer, there are certain things that go along with winter changing into spring and summer. People begin to plant gardens, make vacation plans, and await the tourism season to begin anew.
Another sure sign of spring is the Annual Kite Festival.
The Ninth Annual Sullivan County Kite Festival took place at Sullivan County Community College on Saturday. The festival is a part of the Sullivan County Visitors Associations Cool Water, Hot Jazz Spring Festival. Besides the Visitors Association, the Festival was sponsored by SCCC, Hudson United Bank, and the New York Kite Enthusiasts.
This years event is the biggest one yet, commented one of the event organizers and Hudson United Bank representative Diane Levine. With good weather like this, we always get a good turnout. It is nice to see the kids having fun as well as the parents.
This event is for young and old alike, the Visitors Associations Hope Petkuf remarked. I have seen just as many senior citizens here as Ive seen young people.
People not only came to Kite Day from Sullivan but from all over the state and from throughout the East Coast. All-in-all, well over 2,000 attended Kite Day. While not everyone flew a kite, many just sat on the field and enjoyed watching the cavalcade of colors that dotted the bright spring sky.
In the morning, organizers gave out free kites to all of the kids. In fact, the organizers gave out 350 kites in the first hour.
This year, organizers changed the format slightly. They cordoned off part of the field and had kite demonstrations all day. The kites ranged from the simple to the complex. They were led by remote control, buggies, and rollerblades. There was a Rokkaku Battle of Kites as well, as battlers tried to knock each others kite out of the sky.
There was also live music throughout the day. Jazz artists such as Hugh Brodie and the Carl Dietz Quintet performed, sponsored by Delaware Valley Arts Alliance. The entire Cool Water, Hot Jazz festival has been sponsored by the Sullivan County Legislature, the Arts and Business Council, and the New York State Council on the Arts Cultural Initiative Program. They will be having more events throughout the summer.
In addition to the kites, there were games, rides, pony rides, bubbles, and food. Kids could fly kites, get their faces painted, or play with the bubble machine.
This day was a complete success all the way around, SCCC Director of Student Services (and one of the event organizers) James Goldfarb stated. Perfect weather, many people having fun what could be better? This far exceeded our expectations.