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Ray's World Adventures 2003

12th Children of the Wind Kite Festival
Pincher Creek, Alberta - July 19 - 20, 2003

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 Pincher Creek Sign This beautiful small town of Pincher Creek put on yet another very successful kite festival. This was my 12th year of being fully sponsored to this festival. It is small, yet it is a uniquely family oriented kite festival. I have seen it grow from the very first one in 1991 with only a hundred spectators, to 10,000 over the two-day festival in July of this year. It does not compare size-wise to the large European kite festivals that I am sponsored to which are 100,000 plus strong. When you consider the population of Pincher Creek is only 3,100, and that this festival brings people from out-lying districts that look forward to returning to this event each year, this kite festival is a huge success. There are kite flyers and spectators who travel from as far away as Nelson, Edmonton, Lethbridge and Calgary.

The festival is held on Windy Point along the Old Man River Dam Reservoir. The scenery is breath taking in every direction. This is the land of the Black Foot Indians -- it is so tranquil, and if you let your mind and eyes wander over the beautiful landscape you will see, feel, and understand why the Plains people loved this land.

Not far from where the festival is held, is the very famous Head Smashed In Buffalo Jump which is one of the oldest, largest and best preserved Bison jump in North America, Legend has it that the name came about 150 years ago when a young brave wanted to witness the plunge of countless buffalo as his people drove them to there death over the sandstone cliffs. Standing under the shelter of the ledge, he watched the great beasts fall past him. The hunt was unusually good that day. As the bodies mounted, he became trapped between the animals and the cliff. When his people came to do the butchering, they found him with his skull crushed by the weight of the buffalo carcasses. Hence the name "Head Smashed In Buffalo Jump".

Another very unique thing about this kite festival is that it is put on year after year through the generous donations from the community of Pincher Creek. They now own 7 large Marquee tents, a covered stage, a storage trailer, 10 large tables, over a 100 chairs etc., which are all rented out through out the year, which in turn also helps to finance the festival. The festival also has many other attractions beside kite flying including, Supreme Sound DJ, face painting, Make and Take crafts, Calgary Clown alley with balloon animals, magic and stunts, piles of sand for the children to play to there hearts content, while the parents take this opportunity to go fly a kite. They also give away 1000 kites to children, and to top things off -- a great fire works display at dusk on Saturday night. This year, Canadian Hydro gave tours of the Windmill sites which was very interesting for the people that are interested in the power of the future. There is no shortage of food either. For just one dollar you can get a great breakfast of sausages, pancakes and coffee, plus all day hamburgers, soft drinks and ice cream stands, and the Saturday evening dinner of thick slices of barbequed baron of beef accompanied with baked potatoes, corn and salad, is fit for a king.

The flying fields are large and a great time is had by all kite flyers. Kite demonstrations are performed on the main field to entertain the spectators -- Roger Maddy from the USA flying his kite puppets is always a great hit with the children and adults alike.

The organizer Joan Rickard and the festival committee are already making plans for even a better festival for 2004 (if that is at all possible).

Thank you Pincher Creek for sponsoring me once again to your Kite Festival as always I had a great time and I am looking forward to returning in 2004.

Thank you for listening

Ray




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