Western Courier

Kite Festival

Shannon Norris

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 The second annual Kite Festival for the city of Macomb kicked off with tons of crafts for families. Kids were able to create their own kite using donated kite kit and many had the chance to even learn how to fly and enjoy free food provided by
various sponsors.

 “I approached the city of Macomb Area Conventions Bureau and the park district as well were 100 percent behind us the entire way,” said festival organizer Heather McMeekan. “I could not do this without them because they have been so amazing providing logistical support and we also got sponsors from Western’s All Volunteer Effort and also the Peace Corps Fellows program and WIU’s ROTC Leatherneck Battalion.”

 “When she brought (the idea) it was kind of a unique concept,” said Macomb Mayor Mike Inman. “(We) hadn’t been around the world of giant kites before. Most of the council members and myself remembered when we were kids and they were small versions and so bringing this whole concept to the city was kind of foreign but obviously it has worked out real well.”

 “Good turn out last year, very weather dependent though unfortunately and you’ve got to have wind, but not too much wind and you’ve got to have clear skies,” Inman continued. “So as  much as Mother Nature can help, we would appreciate that.”

 McMeekan also spoke about how after the first kite festival more people became familiar with the festival and more sponsors and businesses were willing to provide help with the event.

 “We have so much stuff to give away to the kids that our hospitality crew have to pull a raffle ticket,” McMeekan said. “We give a free raffle for every kid, (so) that we’re going to have to pull a raffle ticket all the entire day long about every six
inutes to give everything away. We just can’t thank our sponsors enough. They have been just so generous and their support has helped us purchase kites to give away, has helped us provide all the logistical support that we need. Life is just really great when you’re flying kites, you know?”

 Along with flying kites, the event offered bubbled stations for kids, a kite “make and take” station, and kite kits families can take home and make together. Day two of the event also included more craft activities as well as food provided by the many businesses from the city of Macomb.

 “Squeeze to Please and (Macomb Area Convention and Visitors Bureau) have teamed up to donate the ice and all the materials for free hotdogs and lemon shake-ups,” McMeekan said. “And Hy–Vee helped out with the County Market. We’ve had so many that have been donated to us that we can provide free
hotdogs and lemon shake-ups to kids 18 and under while supplies last.”

 The festival received sponsors from businesses and organizations from all over the city. Some of the sponsors included were: Hardees of Macomb, Fraternal Order of Police Lodge No. 169, Macomb Park District, Sky Climbers Kite Club and with appearances by Team 180 Go.

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The independent student newspaper of Western Illinois University. Serving Macomb since 1905.
Kite Festival