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updated: 5/3/2014 8:05 PM

More than 200 kites soar over Wheaton

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  • Christine Mirabella of Aurora released her kite during the sixth annual Go Fly A Kite! event at Graf Park Saturday in Wheaton.

       Christine Mirabella of Aurora released her kite during the sixth annual Go Fly A Kite! event at Graf Park Saturday in Wheaton.
    Paul Michna | Staff Photographer

  • Elizabeth Gordon of Oak Lawn showed off some kite tricks Saturday at Wheaton's Graf Park.

       Elizabeth Gordon of Oak Lawn showed off some kite tricks Saturday at Wheaton's Graf Park.
    Paul Michna | Staff Photographer

  • A kite flying event attracted more than 300 people to Graf Park in Wheaton on Saturday. Just over 200 people took part in this event.

       A kite flying event attracted more than 300 people to Graf Park in Wheaton on Saturday. Just over 200 people took part in this event.
    Paul Michna | Staff Photographer

 
 

As Mary Poppins once sang, "You can dance on the breeze over houses and trees with your fist holding tight to the string of your kite."

And with 20 mph winds Saturday morning, the kites were dancing over Wheaton during the sixth annual Go Fly a Kite event at Graf Park, 1855 Manchester Road.

"We've been lucky to have a relatively windy spring, so the kids' kites have logged some flight time," said Wheaton resident Rob Alverth as he helped his daughter Samantha, 7, launch a large, colorful, parrot-shaped kite over the park. "This is one of the bigger kites we've tried, so thankfully the wind should be strong enough to get it up there."

The official tally of 204 kites launched Saturday included flying jellyfish, ladybugs, butterflies, classic diamonds and a variety of shapes and colors twisting through the air. as participants tried to break Wheaton's record of 842 kites in simultaneous flight.

Glen Ellyn residents Rob and Ellen Pena bring their large, traditional kites with colorful streamers out every year.

"It's just a fun way to enjoy the day and break out the kites," Rob Pena said. "And if the record (of 842 kites in the air) is ever broken, it'll be cool to be a part of it."

Not everyone hoisted their kites to the sky, however. Some were content to just sit and watch. Wheaton residents Bill and Nancy Dallas were among the few who brought chairs instead of kites, and they shared a snack of grapes and oranges while watching the launch.

"There's just something so pretty and so serene about watching a kite float in the wind," Nancy Dallas said. "And when there's hundreds of them at once, its just beautiful."

The event, hosted by the Wheaton Park District, served as an introduction to everything kites. Kids could make mini kites out of paper. Milwaukee kite shop Gift of Wings had kites and lawn decorations for sale. And the professional Chicago Fire Kite Team wowed the crowd with their choreographed sport kite routines.

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