Ah, Lincoln City, how I love thee! As I’ve discussed before, this is where I first flew a kite, and I suspect I have been to more festivals on this beach than any other. Which suits me fine. Despite it being a little short on actual sand when you compare to places like Long Beach or even Seaside, the location itself is really wonderful to fly in and usually has some pretty good wind and weather. And, most importantly, and the key to any successful kite festival, GOOD PEOPLE in charge!
The Lincoln City Festival committee puts on three kite festivals a year, starting in late March with their long running and tremendously popular indoor kite festival. Once you get into June, its Summer Festival time! But the 2nd week of October brings us to the Fall Festival and for most Northwest kite flyers, this is typically the last outdoor event of the year.
Usually, or at least for the past few years, Nationals has been the week before Lincoln City and it’s been a great “top off” to a season of flying but, for reasons unknown to me, the last weekend of Nationals coincided with the festival and thus, our fearless leader was elsewhere, leaving the team to be Myself, Steve, Bazzer and JD! Let the mayhem begin! Also out for the event (and do excuse me if I forget anyone, there’s always so many people!) were the Burks with their large inflatable’s (as Dave Gomberg was also out at Nationals), Phil McEachnie, Amy and Connor Doran, Penny Lingenfelter, Lam Hoac. Also on hand and for his first visit to Lincoln City was Ron Gibian and a huge collection of his work! All the makings of a really great festival in my eyes.
And, it really was. We were blessed with some of the nicest October weather I can ever remember having on that beach. While John and the others at Nationals were freezing their butts off, we spent much of the weekend flying in t-shirts! How awesome was that? And, the infamous D River, the world’s shortest river, was mostly well behaved this year as well. It often decides to meander its way through the main demo field but not this year, leaving a huge expanse (well, in relative terms, it’s still “cozy” for lack of a better word…) of beach to fly on.
We got some final testing in on Revolution’s new kite, the Zen (talked about in depth in this month’s Revisions column) both mornings when the wind was a little light, and without our “boss” around to guide our efforts, we had a lot of fun playing with some new music tracks for next season. And even some new moves as well! And for extra fun on the last routine of the year, Sunday afternoon, we managed to get Bob Wendt one of our radio transmitters so the crowd could clearly hear what Steve was calling us to go through. Which led to much laughter by Bazzer and I but, the crowd sure seems to like that kind of thing. It’s just a little disorienting when you are flying to hear the leader beside you, and on your headphones and as the loudest sound on the beach!
Other highlights of the weekend included some fantastic low wind demos by Lam Hoac, both on his Fearless kite (which during one point on Sunday, I looked over and saw my wife quite happily flying one as her first dual line experience. Now, we seemed to have ordered one, what’s up with that? 😀 ). Amy and Connor Doran worked tirelessly over the weekend as well with many demos given between the two of them. And I’ll admit, iQuad was terribly amused by her Eve costume for her new Wall-E routine. We had no idea that tapping on the helmet would have been so loud for her while she was inside it. While the low winds in the morning tended to keep the big show kites down for the most part, both afternoons the winds would come up enough for Phil and Barbra Burk to get a good collection of stuff up in the air (and still left them time to organize a BBQ for the Saturday night!). There were some marvelous kites on display including a spectacular dragon made by Rolf Zimmermann of Germany.
Kids were kept well entertained as well, once again with the autograph books that Mr. Gomberg had brought to these festivals a couple of years ago (where DID I leave my pen becomes a kite flyer’s mantra), Bol races (the perfect thing to tire out a kid for the drive home) and kids kite making as well. If your kid wasn’t worn out by the end of the day down there, you need to stop feeding them chocolate covered espresso beans…
Also as is custom around the world, we paid tribute to One Sky One World on Sunday. Held as a “worldwide” festival, the event takes place on hundreds of kite fields around the world. I’ve gone to the Vancouver one whenever possible, and I know we end up missing out on a few people who make the one just up the road in Long Beach, WA. Make a note of attending one in your area next year, information can always be found on the central web site :
And finally, as a nice change of pace from how I usually approach this festival, we decided to stay over the Sunday night and do the 8 hour drive back on the Monday! I think I’ll make an effort to do that again, it made for a very fun Sunday evening and a much more leisurely drive back on the Monday. Be sure to keep an eye out for next year’s Lincoln City Kite festivals, first in late March with the Indoor event and again in June for the Summer Festival (this year’s theme is Quad kites! YAY! I’ll make a calendar entry now!) and then again for the fall festival. I can guarantee it will be a trip you won’t regret!