Organizers say kite festival was a big success

MINERAL WELLS – Although conditions on Sunday were cooler than they would have liked, the organizers of the fourth annual New Era School Kite Festival feel the weekend event was a rousing success.

Over 200 people attended the two-day event over Saturday and Sunday in front of the old school house next to Mineral Wells Elementary School, said Max Barker, president of the New Era Kite Club, with most of those coming on the sunny first day.

The event was held as a fundraiser to benefit the New Era School Building and raised over $300 this year.

With warm temperatures on Saturday, a large number of people were able to attend, Barker said. They had inflatables set up, games being played and tours conducted of the New Era building, he said. There were also quite a few people who came out.

“Saturday was great,” Barker said. “We had kids everywhere.”

Leaps & Bounce LLC, of Marietta, which set up the inflatables, also gave a good donation to the school, organizers said.

Baseball tryouts at nearby ballfields usually bring in a number of people, but the tryouts were canceled so organizers felt they lost a number of people from that.

“I think we had more wind Saturday than we had at any previous festivals,” Barker said. “There was a lot of wind and they could get their kites up real easily.

“It made it very nice.”

Kite flying was what brought people out, whether they were old pros, novices or people who haven’t done it in years.

“I hope the people who came out were able to have a good time with their family,” Barker said. “We have seen a lot of mothers, fathers and the kids out.

“Everyone has been cooped up all winter long. You could tell that it was fun for them to be able to get out.”

For many people it was their first time flying a kite.

“We still hear that every year,” Barker said. “It is really neat to see people’s faces, especially the little kids, who had never flew one before.”

Many adult enthusiasts came out with their own kites and took the time to get them up into the air.

“Many people think it is an activity for kids, but we have a lot of adults who come out every year and fly kites,” Barker said. “We had one guy who had four or five in the back of his truck.”

Due to colder weather Sunday, organizers couldn’t set up the inflatables and overcast skies kept a lot of people away.

“We have still had some kite flyers come out,” Barker said. “We still have had some people trickling in.”

Organizers have usually been pretty lucky with the weather.

“We have been blessed with the weather,” Barker said. “Over the last few years, we have never had to cancel or reschedule.

“(Sunday) was the first really cold day we have had. This is really the first bad weather day we have really had in our four-year history.”

Organizers are planning to do another two-day event next year.

“This really is an event for people of all ages,” Barker said. ”The time they got to spend with their families and had a good time together.”