Last May, Rich Evans visited a full-blown kite festival in the Lehigh Valley and was enchanted.
“I felt like I was 30 years younger, to see everybody so happy. You can’t believe how wonderful it is, with all that activity and energy and happy people, everyone smiling. It’s a wonderful thing.”
Tomorrow, Evans hopes to re-create the charming scene in the field by St. Martin in the Fields Episcopal Church in Nuangola.
The day will be one of fun for all ages, he predicted, explaining members of the Pocono Kite Symphony kite club will be on hand, ready to help at least 100 children build and fly a new kite.
Teens and adults are welcome to bring their own kites or to purchase a kite from the club. Kites will be free for the younger children.
The church hopes to raise some money by selling refreshments, including kite-shaped cookies. “That’s kind of whimsical,” Evans said with a laugh.
But the most important part of the day will be the building of fellowship, he said, adding participants will have a chance to enjoy the outdoors in a relaxing way.
“Kite flying has not been one of the growth activities with youth, what with iPods and iPads and video games,” Evans said, sounding nostalgic. “It’s one of those retro activities, one that’s relatively unstructured. There are so many rules with other activities, like soccer. But we’ll let them design their kites, and then they can go out and have fun in the field.”
Andy Gelinas, founder of the Pocono Kite Symphony, agrees it will be fun and said it doesn’t even matter if there is wind.
Gelinas, who lives in East Stroudsburg and estimates he’s built or helped build more than 32,000 kites in his life, said the kites his group will bring are called ram-air jet sleds. These three-piece kites, each about 28 inches wide by 20 inches tall, have been designed so they can fly with or without wind, and compressed air holds them rigid, so there’s no need for sticks.
“We’ll have everybody from little kids sitting on laps to junior-high kids making kites,” Gelinas said, explaining it’s safer not to use sticks.
The festival will include a bounce house, face painting and other activities, including such kite games as racing into the wind with a parachute on your back.
So why is the kite club called a symphony? It has nothing to do with musical instruments, Gelinas said. “A symphony means playing together. In unison.”