Colorful kites brighten up the gray skies

CANFIELD – On an otherwise dreary Saturday afternoon, the skies over Canfield were contrasted with a bit of color.

The Mill Creek MetroParks Farm played host to the biannual Kite Festival, which was organized by Ohio Society for the Elevation of Kites and Fly Pittsburgh. The organizations brought large, professional-looking mechanical kites, but residents from all over the Mahoning Valley were welcome to bring their own kites and take to the skies.

Admission to the festival was free, but children were invited to participate in a build-a-kite workshop for a small fee.

One child who did not need to make a kite was Brittanie Rich of Niles. Rich attended with her grandmother, Judy Rich, who said that Saturday’s event was an opportunity to expose her granddaughter to one of her favorite hobbies.

“I had to bribe her with lunch to get her to come, but I told her that we had to fly kites first,” Rich joked. “But I’m absolutely thrilled to see that she is enjoying herself.”

Brittanie Rich said she was a newcomer to the hobby, but that she was having fun sharing the sky with other children and parents.

“I’ve never flown a kite before, but I’m really having a lot of fun,” Rich, who was borrowing her grandmother’s kite for the afternoon, said. “There are some really cool kites in the air.”

The event was not just for children, as it also attracted adult hobbyists, a fact that Judy Rich said sparked her interest.

“I look all over the place today, and I see older people who are out here as well,” Rich said. “I always thought I would have to go with a younger person, but it’s nice to see that adults can enjoy it as well.”

Holly Horne also attended the event with her daughter, Ella Horne, and the Canfield residents said that they were able to make a day out of it.

“We were here early in the morning, and then we left to have lunch, and now here we are again,” Holly Horne said. “It’s a really great day; we were able to make our own kite with Ella’s name on it and everything. It’s been a lot of fun.”

Organizers said the event has been going on for more than 10 years, and that it has been known to attract more than 1,000 people on days when the weather is perfect.