Let's Go Fly a Kite

Posted 5/24/09
By Jane Kashlak

Wildwood, NJ — We turned the corner onto Rio Grande Ave. in Wildwood and gasped. It was as though we were stepping into a dream.

In front of us, the sky over the beach was filled with kites. Large kites, small kites. Kites of every color. Shapes that did not look for a moment like kites yet sailed gracefully and effortlessly in the sea breezes.

We felt like little kids at a parade. Quick, park the car. In fact, as we walked toward the beach, we had the sensation of being at an airborne Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.

There were gigantic ducks and fish and cats and an octopus or two. A crab, and teddy bears and a monstrous squid. The only thing missing from this parade in the air was a giant inflatable Lucy.

Every year people from around the country come to Wildwood's beach on Memorial Day weekend to fly their kites. They compete for prizes and they do it just for the fun of it. This year, kite flyers came not just from the United States but from Canada and China as well.

They struggled with the strong wind, using all kinds of devices - sand filled buckets - even a pick up truck - to anchor their kites in place on the beach. One entire area of the beach was roped off because of all the kite strings.

Once in the air, the kites' super strong strings seemed like gossamer - disappearing against the blue sky.

And the kites took on a life of their own. People walking along the boardwalk had to stop and stare, like we did. It was magical.

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