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Ray's World Adventures 2004

13th Children Of the Wind Kite Festival
Pincher Creek, Alberta - July 17 - 18, 2004
By John Ames

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What can I say that I have not already said so many times over the last 12 years of being sponsored to this very unique one of a kind True Blue Canadian Kite Festival that is held on Windy Point at Old Man River Dam in Pincher Creek Alberta, the outstanding feature of this festival is that it is 100% family oriented, it is a gathering of families and kite flyers from Pincher Creek and out laying areas as well as from Calgary, Edmonton, Nelson, and Lethbridge, which all are around a 5 or 6 hour drive a way.

One gets the feeling that this is how it must have been like in the early settlers days when people used to gather a couple of times a year to catch up with all the latest news and whatever else. The kite festival you might say is a kind of bonus to this wonderful gathering. This was my 13th time being sponsored to this festival and though out the years I have had the great pleasure of getting to know many families and watch their children grow up. This year so many more babies have been added so it looks like I will still be Uncle Ray for a while yet.:-)

As always, this was a well organized kite festival thanks to Joan and Pete Rickard and all the great volunteers and the Pincher Creek Kite festival committee who had been working ideas on and off since last year's festival. This year the theme was for every one to enjoy them selves. Beside the kite flying performances, there were Kids Tents - Make and Take Crafts, Kite Making, Face Painting with free kites to all children under 12 years of age, Flying Art Park, Sand Castles, Kids Carnival, Clowns, Tabloid Science Tent, which was a hands-on exhibition, put on by the Science Alberta Foundation (very interesting to the young and old alike) and, on the dam there were Force 10 Windsurfing Races. Another crowd pleaser was the ever very popular Roger and Janice Maddy Kite Puppet Show from the USA, entertainment by Herky Cutler from the Prairie Fusion Band, and all day music from the DJ Supreme Sound, and the great favorite that brings people in from miles around the "Colors on the Wind" Fireworks display at dusk on Saturday night, this year was with out a doubt the best one yet.

One of the real highlights at this festival for me without a doubt is watching the faces of the children and adults of the Riverside Hutterite Colony who attend this festival each year -- to see their faces light up with excitement as they watch the kite flying and all the other activities is priceless.

The wind on Friday and Saturday was great and all the kite flyers were able to really entertain the masses, there were a lot of new spectators that had heard and read about the kite festival and had come to see for themselves what it was all about. I can honestly say no one went home disappointed and they all returned again on Sunday. But alas, the wind was very light in the morning but it picked up by the afternoon although it was very gusty at times The weather throughout the festival was awesome -- to some it was a little too hot (around 34 C or 90 F) which is just the way I like it.

Every one enjoys the Toonie (two dollar breakfast) of sausages, pancakes and coffee this is also a great time to socialize and catch up with old friends and make new ones. It is also a great time for me to relax before setting up for the days flying. The beautiful picturesque scenery is unmatched as one can so easily see, feel, and understand why the Native Indians loved this land. I could sit for hours and just let my mind wander and imagine how it must have been before the white settlers arrived.

Well, another great festival has come and gone thanks to the organizers, the festival committee, all the wonderful volunteers and the very generous donations from the sponsors and the community of Pincher Creek for without them there would be no festival. Thank you Pincher Creek for inviting me for the 13th time and thank you all for your hospitality and friendship -- you betcha, I will be back in 2005.

Oh and I want to add if I may, congratulations on a very nice write up and pictures about your festival that is in the July/ August issue of Canadian Geographic magazine.

Thanks for listening,

Ray




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