CALLAWAY – Thirty times in the history of the English language as the phrase “go fly a kite” been used as an invitation to join a party; this Labor Day weekend will mark the thirty-first.
The Callaway Kite Flight returns for another weekend on Saturday, September 3; soon the Custer County sky will be sprouting its annual menagerie of strange wings and colorful tails like so many origami clouds.
The two-day festival will bring back some perennial crowd favorites as well as a couple new events as well; event sponsor and organizer Kindle Rice says that the goal is to provide an exceptional weekend for everyone involved.
“We try to keep things a little bit consistent; when somebody likes something we try to keep it in the roster, and we do have a couple of new things this year.”
A featured new event, unlisted on the schedule, will be a visit from the Teddy Bear Mobile of Central Nebraska. The vendor provides a Build-a-Bear experience for all ages. Some of the proceeds from the vendor are contributed to charity.
One of the most intriguing events returning from last year is the kite painting display. Rice emphasizes how unique the spectacle is. “We have two professional flyers that come out and use their kites to paint on canvas. This is not something you’re going to see anywhere else in the United States. It’s a really cool thing to come watch.”
The resulting paintings go up for sale; the proceeds go to benefit the Callaway community.
Another highly anticipated flight and one of the longest-standing during the weekend is the annual night flight; kite fliers professional and amateur alike will take to Foster Smith Field at 10 p.m. on Saturday with kites alight, and more likely than not confusing a fair number of fireflies in the most creative way imaginable.
The indoor flight, Rice says, is mesmerizing in its own right. “Watching those guys fly those kites with no wind, propelling them with their own bodies is the coolest thing. It’s like watching somebody dance; it’s really awesome.”
The Sons of the American Legion will be holding a fish fry to bolster their scholarship fund, the Callaway Market will offer a watermelon feed both days, and candy drops will occur as regularly as possible, as close to every hour as possible, according to Rice.
And all it takes to get the event off the ground is a good wind.