More than kites soar at annual festival


Mark Sundblom, of Sandwich, flies a kite Sunday afternoon at the Seventh Annual Kite Fest, held behind Anderson Hall at NIU’s North 40. Sundblom said the kite is homemade and was purchased at the Grand Canyon.

By Olivia Willoughby

On Sunday afternoon, kites of all shapes and sizes took to the sky for the annual DeKalb Kite Festival. The festival started off with a special Sept. 11 memorial kite fly.

The memorial kite was a 12 foot long, red, white and blue kite. The kite was flown synchronized to a musical ensemble. Even smaller American flag kites joined the festival, soaring in the air.

Kite Fest was not only for commemoration for the lives lost on Sept. 11. The festival allowed participants to not only fly their patriotic kites, but also bigger and more diverse kites.

During the festival, children ran around flying their kites and watching professional kite flyers show off their stunt kites.

“People expect these diamond kites, but then you get here and see all these different shapes like penguins, ducks and parrots,” said Susan Edwards, executive director of Sycamore Art Attack.

Edwards ran a kite-making booth for Sycamore Art Attack, an organization that hosts art classes, helping children make their own kites to fly.

“We usually make 500 to 600 kites every year,” Edwards said. “There are a lot of kids and a lot of kites, as well as lots of folding and tying [for the kites]. We get help from sororities and fraternities.”

At the Art Attack booth, NIU students volunteered to help kids get their kite-flying experiences started.

“This is my first year going [to Kite Fest],” said Delta Zeta member Sammi Krool. “It’s the perfect day to fly all the kites.”

In addition, festival organizer Chris Overman stopped by to check out the various kites.

“[This was] one of the best years,” Overman said. “[Each year] we estimate between two and three thousand people of all ages. This year, we had good winds, nice temperatures and some sunshine. The kites are always prettier when the sun shines on them.”

Overman also helped out with the candy drop, which featured a kite that was launched into the air with a bag full of candy. Once high in the sky, the candy is released and children scramble for the candy.