Idabel, OK (March 23, 2018)—This year’s Mary H. Herron Memorial Kite Festival (Kite Fest) is scheduled for April 14, from 10 am to 3 pm. The festival will be held at the Booker T. Washington Community Center, located at 1000 NW Haskell Pl. in Idabel. The event is free and open to the public. The festival will start with a kite-building workshop at 10:00 am, led by Christina Eastep, an educator at the Museum of the Red River. Participants can fly their kites after lunch, from 1:00 pm to 3:00. The afternoon session may be canceled in the event of rain.
Kite Fest was founded by Mary H. Herron, a former Museum Director, Curator and avid kite-flyer. The festival is one of the Museum’s most popular events, with last year’s festival attracting 80 amateur kite-makers. Eastep attributes part of its success to the Idabel Minority Action Committee (IMAC), which cosponsors the event. She stated, “their help allows me to focus on teaching the kids.” She went on to say that “the kids love it” and it is one of her “favorite events.”
The history of kites stretches back to at least 400 BC in China. Kites have been used by military leaders, scientists, fishermen and the occasional estranged lover for a variety of purposes. George Pocock, a 19th century inventor, even designed a mode of transportation involving several large kites and a carriage. Although the usefulness of kites has diminished since the invention of the airplane, kites are still used around the world for a variety of scientific and artistic purposes. They also remain a popular recreational activity—especially in Asian and South American countries.