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Kite festival still on for Saturday

The 10th annual Color the Wind Kite Festival is scheduled for 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday off the Seawall in downtown Clear Lake.|CLEAR LAKE ñ Warm weather is great, but if it cooled off until late Saturday afternoon it would be OK by Larry Day.

That’s because the 10th annual Color the Wind Kite Festival is scheduled for 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday off the Seawall in downtown Clear Lake. The ice on the lake has been thinning the past few days, decreasing from 20 inches on Sunday to eight to 12 inches on Thursday morning, Day said.

“We’re fine. We’re going to have the event,” he said, confident ñ and a bit prayerful ñ that the show will go on as planned. Although North Iowa temps were in the mid-50s Thursday afternoon, cooler weather was expected for the next couple days.
Kite enthusiasts from at least eight states are expected to fly their colorful nylon creations. Two teams ñ one with a two-string kite and the other with a four-string kite ñ will perform kite dances choreographed to music.

Some 40 to 50 flyers invited by Day, organizer of the event, are expected to participate in the non-competitive exhibition. Day and his wife, Kay, raised about $4,000 this year to help defray expenses for those who were invited and will be traveling to Clear Lake. Others may fly their kites, and kites will be available for sale.

Ideal wind speeds would be 8 to 12 mph. As of Thursday afternoon, Saturday was forecast to be partly sunny with a high around 40 and southeast wind of 5 to 15 mph.

With no snow on the ice, it might be best to watch from shore unless you have cleats, Day said. “We don‘t really want the public on the ice because they’ll be slipping.” The event commonly draws 6,000 to 7,000 spectators.
Day said he started flying kites 11 years ago at the age of 54. He bought three kites for his grandkids and one for himself, and has been enjoying the colorful, uplifting activity ever since, traveling to several shows per year.
His huge “Hug Me” teddy bear kite is one of several he owns. He also has a full-size manta ray and a gecko among his roughly $25,000 worth of kites and equipment.

It’s a great way to connect with people, he said. “From 3 to 93, people just love watching them fly.”
“If you’ve never been to it, I invite you to come over and see it,” Day said Thursday, speaking to the Mason City Noon Kiwanis Club. “We have music, food and good feelings. It’s a fun time. It’s something different and it’s free.”
For more information on the event, go to If the event has to be canceled it will be posted on the website. Also, to learn more about kites there is a display at the Clear Lake Arts Center, 17 S. Fourth St., that runs through Tuesday, Feb. 22.

The “Hug Me” teddy bear kite, pictured at last year’s event, is flown by Larry Day, organizer of the Color the Wind Kite Festival. The event is planned for 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday off the Seawall in downtown Clear Lake. Photo by Kay Day.|

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