Saturday, December 29, 2007

This is such a brutal winter, can't we bring back Kites on Ice?

This Is Such a Brutal Winter, Can't We Bring Back Kites on Ice?
I took this photo nearly five years ago, in February of 2003. Kites on Ice was a midwinter kite festival that was held several times in Madison, originally at the Monona Terrace convention center. People came from all over the world to fly kites and attend seminars and workshops in Monona Terrace. It was a wonderful way to brighten the long Madison winter, a festive occasion complete with wonderful kite demonstrations, both indoors and outdoors. You could warm up in the building, watch the kites while sipping a hot chocolate. When you got warm, you could go back out on the ice and visit with the kiters. And on Saturday night there were fireworks. It was so cool. And then it all went away. One year the ice was too thin, and the kite flying was moved across the lake to Olin Park. The final year there was a schedule conflict and it moved to Lake Mendota, with the workshops shoehorned into the Memorial Union. The next year it didn't come back.

I always thought it was a missed opportunity to establish a real midwinter festival on the Madison lakes, with Kites on Ice anchoring the event. Anybody up for bringing it back? We could sure use some of that excitement and color in a sky that this year has produced nothing but snow.

4 comments:

Wren said...

Well, I don't live in Madison so my opinion hardly counts, but I think Kites on Ice is a fabulous idea. What fun it would be to fly kites over a frozen lake, with nothing out there to catch them up, and have hot chocolate and hot mulled wine and lots of happy people enjoying the colors and each other...

You make me want to move to Wisconsin just for Kites on Ice.

And I love your eye for a photo, Guy. Wow.

-Deb- said...

Funny to see this - Susan and I moved to Madison only a couple of years ago, but just the other day were talking about how much fun it would be to fly kites here. All that open space of the frozen lakes -- I'd enjoy participating, or watching!

George H. said...

I liked the kites on ice, too. At least we have the cross country ski races on the Square, which should be a better draw this year now that we have some snow.

Kari said...

I live in Wausau, WI (150 miles north of Madison) and I am the Event Coordinator for a non-profit that plans events for the city.

Do you think there would be any interest in holding it in North Central WI, where the ice is nice & thick?