CLEAR LAKE – The forecast called for sunny skies and 38 degrees, with a wind chill to make it feel like 14 degrees. With eleven inches of ice on Clear Lake, they gave the go ahead for the 11th Annual “Color the Wind” Kite Festival in Clear Lake Saturday.
This sounded ideal conditions for a kite festival. Starting at 11:00 a.m., the wind was there for the smaller kites to get up in the sky. The kite shows, by 182 Go and Fire and Ice began doing their ballet tricks and flips to the rhythm of the songs that were playing.
“There are kites from eight different states and forty-five people, plus a dozen more from Minnesota signed up to fly their kites just this morning,” said Larry, one of the “Color the Wind” organizers.
A big crowd turned out and lined up against the seawall. People were walking back and forth admiring the flags of penguins, cows, fish and some statues of meercats. The park and downtown Clear Lake were filled with people.
By 1:30, the wind had mostly died down to nothing. Kites were coming down and the bigger ones just couldn’t make if off the ice.
One kite watcher fan said, “We need about another five mile an hour wind to help the kites out. I see that they’re moving further out on the lake. It’s a little windier there, the flags are blowing more.”
The committee in charge of the event was trying to figure out a strategy to get the kites in the sky.
For the first time, a horse kite was going to fly on the ice of Clear Lake. It was filled with air, sitting proud upon the ice, but without the wind, it just couldn’t make it up to the sky. Soon, the horse was on its side and then disappeared.
The kids and parents made the best of it. They were playing, sledding and sliding on the ice. Kids were dressed for a cold, wintery Iowa day, that just didn’t come. The playground was full of people walking, swinging with their children and walking their dogs. Everyone enjoyed the warm weather while the kite flyers searched for the perfect windy location.