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Mother Nature provides glorious day for kite flying
Warm breezes and blue skies make perfect flying conditions for King George County's annual Go Fly a Kite day

 This is the view from a kite during Saturday's event at a King George County farm.
TOM ROTHENBERG FOR THE FREE LANCE-STAR
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Date published: 3/19/2012

As his mother tells it, 5-year-old Dylan French has been wanting to fly a kite forever.

But whenever he has asked, the weather was either too calm or too cool or the timing wasn't right.

So, when Tracy French saw a notice about "Go Fly a Kite Day" on Saturday at Litchfield Farm, off State Route 218 in King George County, she figured Dylan's moment had arrived. The mother and son joined many other families who dotted the countryside of the King George farm.

"His eyes just lit up when he saw all the kites," Tracy said. "It's the perfect day to fly a kite."

In years past, as many as 300 people have made the annual trek down the long gravel driveway to the sprawling farm, said Janine Paulsen, a program supervisor for the King George Parks and Recreation Department, which sponsors the event.

Saturday was the 25th year for the popular program and certainly one of the more agreeable ones, weather-wise.

In other places, there might not have been a molecule of air moving Saturday afternoon, but breezes billowed across the King George hills.

If anything, the day was a bit gusty, said Harold Ames, a longtime kite builder who helped young flyers around him.

"Every day is a good day to fly a kite," he said. "Some are just better than others."

Ames and his wife, Elizabeth, donated 40 rectangular-shaped kites called sleds, which kids then decorated.

Some covered them with dots, swirls of colors or their initials.

John Moore, 11, drew a blue peace sign and wrote: "I am cool."

The sleds were made from Tyvek, the same material used for house wraps. Over the years, Ames and his wife, who belongs to the American Legion Unit 89 in King George, discovered Tyvek is a more durable choice.

The kites don't disintegrate, like paper, if it's a rainy March day or the ground is covered with dew.

The white Tyvek kites were joined in the blue skies by a dragon or two, a sea bird and shark, a turtle and several military-looking airplanes. There were also more professional, delta-shaped kites as well as the box types and those that spin in the air.


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