Giant kites to fly here Thursday

By BOB JOHNSON
Register City Editor

Courtesy photo
This is one of the kites that will be flown Thursday afternoon at 4 o’clock at a SAFE BASE event on the Allen County Community College campus.

Kites as large as houses will be featured at the SAFE BASE end-of-school festival Thursday at Allen County Community College.
Members of the Kansas City Kite Club will put on a demonstration for students, families, staff and anyone else who wants to see the spectacle. The event starts at 4 p.m. and continues until 6:30. Hotdogs will be served.
Angela Henry, SAFE BASE director, said the size and construction of many of the kites would astound people.
“The coolest thing is some are the size of a house,” she said. “One is three stories tall. They’re also colorful and some represent characters.”
Henry learned of the kite club and arranged for members to visit Iola serendipitously.
On a recent trip to Washington, D.C., she struck up a conversation with Sean Beaver, who was waiting in line at the airport.
Beaver is a member of the Kansas City Kite Club and mentioned to Henry that one of the club’s members was a former Iolan.
Linda Larkey grew up in Iola as Linda Sinclair. Larkey got started flying kites at an Iola event years ago. Now, she sews and makes kites in addition to flying them.
Larkey isn’t likely to attend Thursday’s event because of job obligations, Henry said, but Beaver, president of the Kansas City club, will be here.
According to its Web site, the Kansas City Kite Club is one of the nation’s most active, hosting more than a dozen events each year.
Beaver has several large kites, including a 50-foot caterpillar, a giant cat and a 90-foot manta ray. His most recent acquisition is the world’s largest spin sock, 190 feet long and nearly three stories tall.
Some of those kites will be in Iola.