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On a windy day people struggle to keep their hair out of their faces, papers from flying about and car doors from swinging open uncontrollably.
The air whooshes around; everything is at the mercy of the gusts. But for some, windy days are the perfect backdrop for a kite flying adventure.
Ever since she can remember, junior Kayla Doolady has flown kites. On windy weekends her family members would grab their kites and watch them fly up in the air. She loves to “get outside and enjoy the weather with my family.”
Doolady said last year during advisory, she and her friends enjoyed a few breezy days flying kites, but she isn’t the only one who loves to watch the rhombuses flutter in the sky.
On April 14, kite lovers joined for Kite Flying Day, a free event at Douglass Park sponsored by Columbia Parks and Recreation. Coordinator Tammy Miller said the event allows the community to enjoy the weather. Columbia started the program in the early 1990s to bring more bonding between families.
The city of Columbia “felt like parents didn’t have enough quality time with their children like they do today,” Miller said, “so they created this event to make it a fun and easy opportunity for families to come together to do an activity as a family, to communicate and just have fun.”
Miller and the Parks and Recreation program aim to provide a fun environment for all, regardless of whether or not participants have kites. A limited number of free kites were on hand to give away, allowing everyone to be part of the fun.
“It brings the community together,” Miller said. “We picked Douglass Park because it’s central[ly] located, and those families that are close by can just walk in. “
Junior Rebecca Burke-Agüero stumbled upon Kite Flying Day several years ago during a walk with her dog. The number of people with their different types of kites amazed her. Although she didn’t have a kite with her, she said the sight was really exciting.
Since then, Burke-Agüero has flown kites with her advisory class, her family and her friends.
“I love everything about flying,” Burke-Agüero said, “and seeing a kite way up high in the sky and controlling it and having the accomplishment of keeping it steady up there is really fun to me.”
Instead of stumbling upon it as Burke-Agüero had, Doolady has attended several Kite Flying Days with her family. Her kite knowledge expanded at the event. She saw long kites, short kites, big kites and kites of all shapes. She also saw Chinese kites, something she had never seen before.
The fun of kite flying integrates itself all through Columbia, from simple pleasures on a windy day at school to an event with fellow kite flyers.
The event was a success, Miller said. She was happy to see “parents and kids coming together and doing a fun activity. That show[s] me that the parents are caring for their kids and want to do some fun activities with their kids.”
By Maddie Magruder