Saturday, December 29, 2007
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.