West End Kite Festival to take flight again

Cathy Senior teaches her daughter Sarah how to fly a kite at the inaugural kite festival 2018. photos by Lori Thompson

GORDON—The Western Manitoulin Community Garden is working together with Lyons Memorial United Church and other community partners to put together another Kite Festival this spring.

“It is going to be even bigger and better than last year,” said Sarah Earley, treasurer and co-ordinator of the raised beds and individual garden plots. “This is a great way to launch our garden season and last year’s event was so wonderful we decided we have to do it every year. We feel this is a great way to involve the community in the garden. The wind at the garden is amazing and it gave us the inspiration for a spring Kite Festival.”

“We are thrilled with the community response,” said Ms. Earley. “There will be games and activities including planting some pollinator flowers in the garden, quilt block painting to decorate our water towers, making flower presses and presentations by local artisans and growers. This year as an added feature, the Gore Bay Flying Club will be holding a contest—the winner of which will get a plane ride over Manitoulin.”

“And the North Shore Search and Rescue team will hold an orienteering activity for teens,” continued Ms. Earley. “The Manitoulin Amateur Radio Club will also be on site. We will have EMS and (Gore Bay/Barrie Island) Fire Department with their vehicles and personnel will talk about their work. The Gore Bay Daycare and Manitoulin Family Resources will provide activities for the youngsters and the Child Poverty Task Force is lending us their power driver bicycle for making fruit slushies. The Gore Bay Lions Club will have a barbecue and there will be other food and market vendors.”

“And most importantly,” said Ms. Earley, “the star of the show will be the kites. We will be making kites at the school and at the festival. As well, there will be kites available for sale at the Guardian Drug store and at the festival. All proceeds from these kite sales will go toward community garden projects. Our thanks to Almaz and Kidane from Guardian Drug store for the donation of kites. We are happy to receive any other donations from the community as well.”

Ms. Earley went on to explain that, “there is no fee for registration at the Kite Festival, but we are hoping for donations in support of the garden project. You will have a chance to view our new raised beds which are available for rent and there are individual garden plots for rent too.”

 For more information contact Sarah Earley at earleysarahjane@gmail.com or phone 705-210-0422.

“We are calling on local businesses to bring a kite that represents their business and make a donation when they register. There will be a prize for the business that displays the best team spirit at the festival,” added Ms. Earley.

Prizes will also be awarded for the highest flier, the biggest kite, the best homemade, the most original kite and the longest tail.

The second annual Kite Festival will take place on Sunday, June 2 from 1 to 4 pm. It is at the community garden just past the OPP station, 12218 Highway 540. The laneway by the former driving range leads up to the parking area. Come fly a kite, have lunch and enjoy lots of fun at the garden!