5th annual Kite Fest this weekend

By Wayne Towner

Special to the Times

MINERAL WELLS, W.Va. – “Go fly a kite” may sometimes be meant as an insult, but for local enthusiasts it means two days of fun.

The fifth annual New Era Kite Fest will be Saturday and Sunday at Mineral Wells Elementary School on West Virginia 14.

Sponsored by the New Era School Museum, the free festival will run from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and noon to 4 p.m. Sunday.

There will be kites, food, music, inflatables, face painting and other attractions, said organizer Max Barker, president of the New Era Kite Club. Activities will include kite displays, kite safety and history classes, tours of the New Era One Room School Museum, kite awards and games.

On Saturday only, free kites will be given to the first 50 children. The other activities will be offered both days.

“The New Era Kite Fest is a great way to spend the afternoon,” Barker said. “There will be an kite flyer on hand to help you begin flying. There will also be stunt kite demonstrations and certificates awarded in a variety of kite flying categories for those who choose to participate.”

For the 2013 event, Barker said organizers experimented with holding the kite event for two days and the response was positive, continuing this year, he said.

“It went really well last year” despite some snowy and cold conditions on the second day, he said.

“We had one of our biggest Saturdays,” he said.

Barker is also president of the New Era One Room School Museum on the Mineral Wells Elementary campus. He said the first kite festival grew out of that program and organizers had so much fun with that, it has been growing each year since.

Proceeds from the kite festival benefit the school museum program, he said.

More information is available on Facebook at New Era Kite Club & New Era One Room School Museum, or at www.neweraoneroomschoolmuseum.com.