Airborne family fun will highlight Saturday festival in Portâ€™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.
â€śItâ€™s a nice way to spend a spring day,â€ť said Hudson. â€śThereâ€™s something about just going out and flying a kite. Itâ€™s just fun.â€ť
The event will run from noon until about 4 p.m., weather permitting. Itâ€™ll be a casual event, Hudson said, with people of all ages invited to fly a kite.
Heâ€™ll be flying a few of his own, and will have a few extras on hand available for participants to purchase at cost.
Heâ€™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.
â€śThey were cheap. Theyâ€™d usually end up in a tree or torn,â€ť 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 sisterâ€™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 Oâ€™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, Hudsonâ€™s interest never waned. He said heâ€™s thought about organizing a kite fest for a number of years but didnâ€™t take formal action until recently, â€śwhen it finally clicked.â€ť
That was after he and his wife went bike riding and saw a couple people flying a â€ścool looking dragon kite.â€ť
He posted a notice on Facebook and has been encouraged by the response.
â€śYou need somebody to get this stuff going,â€ť Hudson said. â€śIf we even get a couple kids out there, itâ€™ll be a success as far as Iâ€™m concerned.â€ť
Hudson said heâ€™ll likely have at least five kites flying at the festival â€” 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 â€” and perhaps others as well.
He said heâ€™ll also have a few classic diamond kites on hand â€śfor the purists who donâ€™t think a kite should be anything but a diamond.â€ť
Flying kites is a relaxing hobby thatâ€™s ideal for a spring day, Hudson said.
â€śYou can make the hobby as big or as simple as you want,â€ť he said. â€śYou can learn how to make your own kites. You can put a camera on one and take aerial pictures. Iâ€™ve got some nice shots looking down on Upper Lake Park.â€ť
If the festival takes off, Hudson said, he would like to schedule another one for this summer and perhaps follow up again next spring â€” maybe at Coal Dock Park.
â€śCoal Dock Park isnâ€™t ready for it right now,â€ť he said. â€śBut Upper Lake Park is a really pretty place to fly, especially up at the north end.â€ť
In case of inclement weather, Hudson said, the festival will be rescheduled.