Members of the award-winning Chicago Fire Kite Team perform sport kite ballet and precision flying demonstrations to an amazed audience during the Chicago Botanic Garden's Kite Festival on Saturday, August 8, and Sunday, August 9. With the precision of an Olympic ice skater and the grace of a prima ballerina, brightly colored kites will glide and pirouette through the skies over the West Meadow behind Evening Island at the Chicago Botanic Garden. The Kite Society of Wisconsin & Illinois and Gift of Wings help organize the event. Hours are from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. both days.
Working as a team, fliers demonstrate precision and ballet routines, performing choreography for between three to six pilots and their kites. Sport kites are maneuverable on more than one string, and are typically flown in one of two competition disciplines: ballet or precision. Ballet is judged on choreography and execution, and is set to music. Precision relies on compulsory maneuvers and freestyle, and is not set to music. Both disciplines can be practiced using two different types of kites. Dual-line kites are flown on two lines and are designed to turn only left or right, or fly straight ahead. Quad-line kites are flown on four lines, and can fly forward, backward or sideways.
Guests are encouraged to fly their own kites at the event site at special intervals throughout the day. Twenty-five lucky children, ages 12 and under, participate in the “Kids Mad Dash” at 2 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. Kids can preregister at the Gift of Wings tent. With the help of Kite Society members, kids assemble kites, and then run and launch them at the same time. The one who gets his or her kite the highest in 60 seconds wins a prize. Children also can create their own paper kites from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. Materials are provided.
The kite-flying demonstrations are free and occur weather permitting. Visitors can take the free shuttle out to the West Meadow and catch a ride back to the Visitor Center. Lunch, beverages and Edy's Grand Ice Cream will be available for purchase at the event site. Gift of Wings, Milwaukee, WI, will be on-site selling kites and windsocks.
The Chicago Fire Kite Team has been competing and demonstrating team sport kite ballet and precision since 1986, and is the longest-running competitive sport kite team in the United States. The Chicago Fire Kite Team has been invited to kite festivals around the world. The team has flown in front of friendly crowds in England, France, Japan, Canada, and the United States. They have flown demonstrations for as many as 60,000 spectators at once. For information on the team, to fly a virtual kite or to learn more about the sport, visit www.chicagofirekiteteam.com.
The Kite Festival is sponsored by Edy's Grand Ice Cream. Admission to the Chicago Botanic Garden is free; select event fees apply. Parking is $20 per car; free for Garden members. The Chicago Botanic Garden Trolley will operate between the Garden and the Glencoe Metra station during event hours. Roundtrip tickets are $2; Garden members and children 5 and under ride free. For more information about any of the Chicago Botanic Garden’s programs and events, call (847) 835-5440, or visit www.chicagobotanic.org.
Official Website: http://www.chicagobotanic.org
Added by gtone on June 23, 2009