About 200 colorful kites took flight through clear skies recently at the first children’s event Kiwanis of Alpine has held in Boulder Oaks Park since 2019.
The Come Fly a Kite event, previously held on an annual basis at the park, was canceled in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Acting Kiwanis President Steve Taylor said this year’s event was full of joy, not just because of the young children learning how to fly a kite for the first time but also because the annual event was one on a list that would have pleased former Kiwanis President Don Lumb who recently passed away.
“This event is special. We’re trying to fulfill some of the things Don would have wanted, trying to come out of COVID. It’s the first public event we’ve held since the pandemic and we wanted it to be one for the kids,” Taylor said.
Nearby the Kiwanis food truck that was stocked with free hotdogs and drinks for attending families, Granite Hills Key Club members assembled 300 kites printed with birds, kaleidoscope patterns and flying characters like Batman.
Taylor said the kites, donated by Alpine Ace Hardware, used to run short at about 200 kids so the local shop donated a hundred extra this year.
“We have a little wind and with all these kids showing up, we’ll likely have more kids than ever before. We had 196 in 2019,” Taylor said.
As children arrived, they were directed to choose a kite of their liking from the selection resting along the fence at the park, then make their way down a small hill to the large, grassy field where parents encouraged their kids to “go, run!” after catching an initial burst of wind at the right time.
Andrew, 9, who said he plays Defensive End for the Alpine Mountaineers, showed off how fast he can run and repeatedly tried to get his kite aloft while Aubrey, 6 watched her kite soar higher and higher under the guidance of her father, Steve Gumienni.
Older children such as Diego, 15 guided younger siblings or cousins on the ideal moment to launch their kites into the wind.
“It is a perfect day for this,” Nathan Wilson said as he helped his daughter Kylie, 4 learn how to fly her new Cinderella kite.
Several parents idly gave similar comments on how “it’s so good to be back” while glancing over the families scattered throughout the open field.
Taylor said the event is just one planned for families as public events open back up for the remainder of 2021.
“We’re starting a new yo-yo club as well,” Taylor said, gesturing to where a few Kiwanians performed tricks nearby a table laid out with yo-yos.
Although the service organization met on Zoom through the bulk of the pandemic, they are back at their regular meeting place on the old Alpine Elementary School campus, he said.
“Things are picking up,” Taylor said.