Balloons and kites don’t usually mix well. Balloon pilots prefer little or no wind so they can tether their aircraft and maintain control, or take longer flights that cover minimal distances. On the other hand, kites need wind to fly.
But at most balloon events, the hot air inflatables go up early in the morning and fly away. That leaves lots of open space and a huge crowd with nothing in the air. So we were delighted to negotiate an appearance at the New York Balloon and Music Festival to fly between balloon launches.
This festival is a huge deal. There are three performing stages, vendors, car shows, craft markets, monster trucks, wrestling shows, and about 50,000 people each day.
GKPI brought in a dozen kiters and about twenty big bags. Our job was to do four kite shows a day but it proved easier to just fly out on the grass at the edge of the Brookhaven runway and not worry about the schedule.
For a few hours each morning they moved us off so airplanes could land. And then the kites went back up. We came out at 6 each morning to help with balloon launches (and hope for free rides) and finished up at about 8 each night when the balloons returned for evening illuminated displays.
We also brought the MegaFlag for its first appearance since Kuwait. One of the balloons was shaped like a flag and everyone marveled that ours was twice as big.
A huge thanks to all the kiters that joined us and worked so hard. And thanks to the balloon folks for making us feel welcome and part of the event. We look forward to flying at similar festivals in the future and exposing new crowds to the big kites.
See you at a festival somewhere soon,