Idabel, OK (March 26, 2019)—The annual Mary H. Herron Memorial Kite Festival is scheduled for April 13 at the Booker T. Washington Community Center in Idabel. Attendees can bring their own kites or make one on-site for free. Families can drop in and drop out from 10 am to 3 pm.
Kite Fest is sponsored by the Museum of the Red River and the Idabel Minority Action Committee (IMAC). It’s one of the Museum’s most popular, recurring events. Last year’s festival attracted over 60 amateur kite-makers. Christina Eastep, Head of Programs, attributes its success to IMAC. She stated, “Kite Fest wouldn’t be possible without IMAC…their help lets me focus on teaching kids.”
Kites were probably invented in China, where ideal kite-building materials, like silk and bamboo, were present. Military leaders, scientists, and the occasional estranged lover used them for a variety of purposes. George Pocock, a 19th century English inventor, even developed a kite-powered carriage known as a “charvolant”. The vehicle reportedly reached speeds up to twenty miles an hour. Unfortunately for Pocock, his invention never took off.
Kites are still used for a range of scientific and artistic purposes. However, they are mostly used recreationally—particularly in Asia and South America. Kite-fighting is especially popular. And to George Pocock’s credit, kite surfing and buggying have become popular in recent years.