Color the Wind Kite Festival

Color the Wind Kite Festival
The city of Clear Lake, Iowa is probably best known as the site of the plane crash that killed Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and The Big Bopper (The Day the Music Died). However, this is not the only thing the city is known for. Every year, Clear Lake hosts the Color the Wind Kite Festival, which is the biggest event of its kind in the Midwestern United States.

The Color the Wind Kite Festival was founded by Larry and Key Day, an elderly couple who’ve lived in Clear Lake since 1969. During a trip to Wisconsin in the late 1990s, they bought several kites as presents for their grandchildren and attended a snowkiting event in Madison. They were so impressed by it that they decided to organize a similar event in their hometown.

The inaugural Color the Wind Kite Festival was held in 2001 on the frozen waters of a 3600 acre lake located near the city. The festival has taken place almost every year since its inception, except for the years when the winter was too mild and the ice on the lake was too thin. What started as a small local event has grown into the biggest kite festival in the Midwest that attracts over 7,500 attendees every year.

The Color of the Wind Festival is a non-profit organization that aims to promote the sport of kite flying and to provide good family entertainment free of charge. The event is supported by the Clear Lake Chamber of Commerce, local businesses, civic groups, and individual contributors.

Color the Wind is held on the third Saturday of February. It features kite flyers from 8 states who travel to Clear Lake to display their unique kites, banners and ground displays. Among other events and activities, the program of the festival includes kite dances choreographed to music which are performed by stunt kite teams flying two and four kite lines. All events at Color the Wind are free to attend.

Color the Wind is one of the most awaited family events in Clear Lake. Every year, thousands of locals and tourists gather along the seawall and out on the frozen lake to enjoy kite flying displays and have a picnic. Most attendees get hot food and beverages from the lunch wagon that can be found on site, but some prefer to bring their grills and have a tailgate-style barbecue.

Color the Wind Kite Festival

Photo: im8675309




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