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Written by KRISTYN HALBIG ZIEHM   
Wednesday, 08 May 2013 17:30

Airborne family fun will highlight Saturday festival in Port’s Upper Lake Park

    Kites will fly above Upper Lake Park in Port Washington Saturday afternoon during a kite festival organized by enthusiast Tom Hudson.

    “It’s a nice way to spend a spring day,” said Hudson. “There’s something about just going out and flying a kite. It’s just fun.”

    The event will run from noon until about 4 p.m., weather permitting. It’ll be a casual event, Hudson said, with people of all ages invited to fly a kite.

    He’ll be flying a few of his own, and will have a few extras on hand available for participants to purchase at cost.

    He’ll probably also have a few kites for a giveaway, Hudson said.

    Hudson said he started flying kites as a child, initially simple paper ones.

    “They were cheap. They’d usually end up in a tree or torn,” Hudson said, adding that one of his favorite childhood memories is of flying kites with his father.

    Years later, he got a little more serious about the hobby and used his sister’s sewing machine to fashion a large box kite.

    That kite survived for many years, although it was damaged after he and his wife Elizabeth O’Connell moved to Port.

    In 2005, he remade the kite, which stands 5 feet tall, Hudson said.

    That same year, he took part in a kite festival organized by former Mayor Scott Huebner.

    While the festival fell to the wayside after a year or two, Hudson’s interest never waned. He said he’s thought about organizing a kite fest for a number of years but didn’t take formal action until recently, “when it finally clicked.”

    That was after he and his wife went bike riding and saw a couple people flying a “cool looking dragon kite.”

    He posted a notice on Facebook and has been encouraged by the response.

    “You need somebody to get this stuff going,” Hudson said. “If we even get a couple kids out there, it’ll be a success as far as I’m concerned.”

    Hudson said he’ll likely have at least five kites flying at the festival — the 5-foot box kite, a 6-foot Japanese rokkaku with six sides, 6-foot and a 16-foot deltas and a 6-foot conyne — and perhaps others as well.

    He said he’ll also have a few classic diamond kites on hand “for the purists who don’t think a kite should be anything but a diamond.”

    Flying kites is a relaxing hobby that’s ideal for a spring day, Hudson said.

    “You can make the hobby as big or as simple as you want,” he said. “You can learn how to make your own kites. You can put a camera on one and take aerial pictures. I’ve got some nice shots looking down on Upper Lake Park.”

    If the festival takes off, Hudson said, he would like to schedule another one for this summer and perhaps follow up again next spring — maybe at Coal Dock Park.

    “Coal Dock Park isn’t ready for it right now,” he said. “But Upper Lake Park is a really pretty place to fly, especially up at the north end.”

    In case of inclement weather, Hudson said, the festival will be rescheduled.


 
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