Kites battle the breezes, each other 20 fliers dogfight in Salt Box contest SOUTHWEST -- Mount Airy * Woodbine * Taylorsville * Winfield

April 05, 1993|By Darren M. Allen | Darren M. Allen,Staff Writer

For little Chelsea Baumgartner, the combination of a kite, 200 feet of string and breezy skies wasn't at all satisfying.

"Can I get the other kite?" the frustrated but determined Taylorsville 5-year-old asked her father. "This is not working."

The new kite did make it off the ground, if only briefly.

Chelsea and about 20 other folks turned out yesterday for the 11th annual Woodbine Recreation Council Kite Contest at Salt Box Park on Gillis Falls Road.

From Chelsea's Barbie -- which is nearly as big as she is -- to a hawk that soared 500 feet in the air for most of the hourlong contest, children and their parents were busy thrusting their kites into the air.

Chrissy Diehl, 6, and her mother, Dolores, were busy maneuvering a Hulk Hogan-emblazoned kite through loops, dips and near-landings.

"This is one of the trickiest kites I've ever had," Chrissy said, pushing her way past an observer to keep her kite from hitting the ground.

Michael Hardesty, 7, wasn't about to let anyone get in his way.

"I'm really doing good," he said as he ran around the park in a mostly successful effort to keep his Yogi Bear kite aloft. "About the only thing I don't like is, there's this stupid knot in this."

The "stupid knot" didn't cause much trouble, but the strings from other kites that crossed his path threatened to bring Yogi down.

While Michael was adept at dodging the dreaded strings, others weren't quite so lucky. One after the other, kites that had been gracefully catching the breeze would thump to

the ground, only to be extracted and sent airborne once again.

Kenny Getz III's problem wasn't string from other kites crossing his path -- after all, his falcon was 500 feet in the air for more than a half-hour.

His problem was an unavoidable gust of wind that sent his falcon diving into an unforgiving thicket of trees.

Down but not out, the 8-year-old from Mount Airy managed to finagle the falcon into the air for a few fleeting moments.

"Look, dad, we might be able to get it," he yelled, running toward the trapped -- but flying -- kite. But after a few minutes, it was clear that the trees wouldn't part with their newly found treasure.

Contest organizers handed out a handful of $5 awards, but the prizes weren't the main attraction of the event.

"This really gives people a chance to fly their kites after sitting home all winter long," said Nancy Stockdale, who has run the contest since 1983. "It's a little something different."

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