Fittest loser
Article updated: 9/15/2012 5:34 PM

Kites fill the sky at Peck Farm Park in Geneva

Lucas Oldham, 6, of Geneva, has lift off with his biplane kite on Saturday during Geneva Park Districtís Kite Festival at Peck Farm Park. Lucas attended the event with his father, Michael, and mother, Tania, for the first time.

Lucas Oldham, 6, of Geneva, has lift off with his biplane kite on Saturday during Geneva Park District's Kite Festival at Peck Farm Park. Lucas attended the event with his father, Michael, and mother, Tania, for the first time.

 

Laura Stoecker | Staff Photographer

Kyle Liwanag releases a dragon kite for his friend, Brandon Jenkins, both 12 and from Geneva, at Peck Farm Park on Saturday. They attended the Geneva Park Districtís second annual Kite Festival.

Kyle Liwanag releases a dragon kite for his friend, Brandon Jenkins, both 12 and from Geneva, at Peck Farm Park on Saturday. They attended the Geneva Park District's second annual Kite Festival.

 

Laura Stoecker | Staff Photographer

Parents and children dot the landscape as they attempt to get their kites airborne on Saturday during the Geneva Park Districtís annual Kite Festival at Peck Farm Park.

Parents and children dot the landscape as they attempt to get their kites airborne on Saturday during the Geneva Park District's annual Kite Festival at Peck Farm Park.

 

Laura Stoecker | Staff Photographer

While the wind wasnít prime for kite flying, it was manageable on Saturday during the Geneva Park Districtís Kite Festival at Peck Farm Park.

While the wind wasn't prime for kite flying, it was manageable on Saturday during the Geneva Park District's Kite Festival at Peck Farm Park.

 

Laura Stoecker | Staff Photographer

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It's unlikely anyone objected to being told to go fly a kite Saturday at Peck Farm Park in Geneva.

Adults and children descended on the property from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. for the Geneva Park District's second annual Kite Festival. While the sky was sunny and the temperature warm, it wasn't a prime kite-flying day because of a lack of wind.

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Troy Stringer, 50, of Sycamore, was among the visitors who struggled to get his kite airborne. He eventually got his custom-designed Barbara Meyer kite to stay afloat about 200 feet.

Stringer said he began flying kites seven years ago and became serious enough about the hobby to spend about $3,500 on it in 2011. He brought 20 kites with him Saturday, with the one he selected having 40-foot tails.

"Partially, it's just getting something real pretty up in the sky and you share it with people," said Stringer, referring to his enjoyment of kite flying. "Also, it gives me a source of exercise, kind of moving around."

While Stringer has gained in-depth knowledge to the point of knowing what kite to use in certain weather, some children at Peck Farm Park weren't as technical.

Kyle Liwanag released a dragon kite for his friend, Brandon Jenkins, both 12 and from Geneva. When asked if there was any special technique to flying the kite, Brandon replied: "Just run!"

Geneva Park District employees were stationed at a booth distributing free kites to children who needed them. About 250 of the Easy-Flyer paper kites were available to the kids, who got to assemble and color them.

Park district Recreation Supervisor Stacey Fedyski said organizers expected Saturday's attendance to be similar to last year's 1,200 for the inaugural Kite Festival. She had a noticeable smile as she provided kites to the children who requested them.

"The best part is seeing everyone actually getting outside and enjoying the parks," Fedyski said. "Just actually being able to come out with their families and fly the kites and stuff like that. You don't see that too much nowadays."

Part of the day featured expert demonstrations with large-kite flying.

•Daily Herald photographer Laura Stoecker contributed to this report.

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