Issue 67: Dave’s World – Windscape

We’re back in Saskatchewan and Swift Current for the Windscape Kite Festival. Wheat fields stretch off in the distance for as far as the eye can see. And gentle breezes dance across rolling fields and then splash onto the large flying fields. This seems a perfect place for kites!

Saskatchewan is, of course, north of Montana. If you are looking for friendly people with polite children, a well run event, and a supportive and appreciative community, you should plan a visit!

I found Windscape interesting and innovative. Last time here I discovered the kiter “passports” which contained photos and short bios of each guest. Kids were encouraged to collect autographs for small prizes. And that facilitated some real interaction between fliers and the public.

This time there were chalkboards for kids to decorate, photos of fliers on our name badges, and fun neckerchiefs instead of tee shirts. Each night as the kites were packed away, a music festival began at the edge of the field. The regional tourism authority sent out a film crew that worked for an hour with Susan, our Caterpillars, and three large Octopus.

Local volunteers provided help with baggage, anchors and transport. Our driver, Dave Tuttle seemed to be everywhere. At one point I saw him finally sit down with a plate of lunch. I immediately ran over and asked for a ride to the hotel. And unaware of my annoying sense of humor, he started to get up and go to the car! Susie stopped him and gave me a stern wifely lecture…

Guests on the field included John Pollack, Mike Shaw, Deb Lenzen, Dick and Goorgean Curran, Alice and Don Glick, Bud Taylor, Aime and Olive Barsalou, and Carl Bigras.

Over on the demo field, the Detroit Windjammers and Vancouver Island Quad kept guests entertained. And Don King did a fine job on the microphone detailing events and programs all around the several fields.

Sunday we had warnings of rain. But as the morning unfolded, the breeze was steady and dry. Susan and I pulled out our three Octopus again and launched a color-coordinated stack. Just after the third kite went up, the winds increased and we watched the near horizon cloud up. We scrambled to pull the kites down and pack them quickly away. Bags that weight 50 pounds dry are no fun to carry home wet!

What reached us eventually was a heavy fog. Some fliers soldiered on. But fog has the same effect as rain so we left things in the bag. Later that night, everyone gathered for a farewell party and impromptu photo review.

I often say that size is relative at kite events. A somewhat modest festival can be a big thing in a smaller community.And the result is more support, more enthusiasm, and more energy.

We’re flying home today and have just connected from Vancouver to Portland. For a relatively nearby event, it has been a long travel day. But we are pleased to be a small part of the Windscape family. Next week we fly near home at the Lincoln City Summer Festival. Come join us!!

David Gomberg