Let’s NOT Go Fly A Kite

I have frequently documented my dislike for all-things kites, particularly when it comes to flying the blasted things. Which, I hear, is kind of the point. Though I wouldn’t know because I’ve never gotten one airborne.

And yet every year when the Arvada Kite Festival rolls around I think, “Oh, let’s go see the kites! It’s a perfect spring activity!” Call it early-onset dementia.

We had a 2.5-hour window between Bode’s soccer game and a baptism so we high-tailed it over. We should have kept on driving because we drove around for ages trying to find a parking spot. Hey, Arvada Festivals Commission–let’s maybe rethink holding an event in a neighborhood with zero parking.

Knowing it’s a huge problem, they tried to shuttle people in from the community swimming pool a mile away but hey, Arvada Festivals Commission–when you say the shuttles are going to run every 10 minutes, make sure we don’t wait there for a half-hour before finally deciding to just walk out of sheer frustration. Oh, and it might help if your poor volunteer’s Walkie Talkies work.

We were ticked off by the time we got to the park almost an hour later but our spirits were elevated when we saw all the kites! We collapsed, exhausted, and watched them battle it out with the clouds. When the wind was calm, people lounged on the grass but the moment the wind picked up, it was sheer magic as all the kites fought for air space.

We grabbed some of our favorite treats from Granny’s…


…sat in front of the loudspeaker and when Billie Jean and Footloose came on, darnit if that Bode didn’t start break dancing for the crowd.

We should have left while the gettin’ was good.

The Arvada Kite Festival has grown over years and there was a petting zoo, vendors, food trucks, bouncy castles, hamster balls and much more. Bode wanted to go jump but then we passed the Booth of Doom: they were selling kites for $4.

“Mommy, can we pulllllease buy a kite?” Hadley begged.

Since it was a kite festival, after all, I said “yes,” forgetting that my relationship with those flying temptresses is much better at a distance.

Hadley ripped the packaging open and within moments, a gust of wind swept it away, dive-bombing a guy from a neighboring booth.

After apologizing profusely, we made our way out to the field but Hadley couldn’t get it to fly. We sought the guidance of a spectator who informed us our kite was missing the crossbar on the back. So, I headed back over to the Booth of Death, informed the nice sales guy, he tossed our kite behind him and gave us another one. Swell, right? Mere moments later, Hadley saw the wooden crossbar she had likely dropped from Kite No. 1.

“Oh no, we found it.”
“Don’t worry about it. I already trashed the other kite.” And he tossed it in the garbage.

So we took our  new kite out for another try. Almost immediately, a gust of wind swept it up, up, up, up and then down, down, down. It crashed in a marvelous belly flop, completely obliterating the back of the cheap kite. And guess what was busted? The crossbar.

Back to the Booth of Death we trudged. The man bristled when he saw me.

“Sir, do you remember that wooden crossbar we found from the kite you threw away?”
“May we have that back?”

Without speaking another word, he handed it to me. I didn’t make eye contacted for fear of the daggers.

Hadley and Bode kept trying and failing. Hadley kept yelling at me I wasn’t tossing it upwards the right way, I was complaining right back to her that she wasn’t letting out the line quick enough and Bode kept getting tangled up in it all.

Our unflyable kite

You know all those nice images of how peaceful and soul-filling kite-flying is? LIES, ALL LIES.

As we were about ready to wrap things up, our line got ensnared with someone else’s and I. Was. Done. As the nice man tried to untangle it, I said, “Just cut ours off.” He protested, obviously not seeing the veins that were bulging out of my head or that we were going to be late for the baptism and still had to combat the transportation nightmares back to our car. “No, seriously,” I told him. “We need to leave so just cut our line.” He reluctantly did so and we were free!

As we dejectedly trudged back to the car, I taught the children a new word: “boycott.” And that, my friends, is exactly what we’re going to do the next time the Arvada Kite Festival rolls around.

Unless I have early-onset dementia again.

Other Posts