Diamond kiteAerial Fest III - March 21-23, 1997

Okay, here's a review that I've been working on...it's definitely hard to get back to work after a wonderful weekend at the Avi Resort Hotel for the 3rd Aerial Kite Festival. Basir's Afghani Festival, scheduled for the same weekend, was cancelled, so he was able to join us and brought his new wife, Homairia, to experience her first American kite event.
As Mark and Jan mentioned in their report, the winds could have been better, especially on Saturday when they were either non-existant, or very squirrely and unpredictable.

Photo on the left shows a Hotel Security Guard rescuing a Cody from the roof. Brian Johnsen (wearing the hat) is on the ground trying to help the guard turn the kite over. The guard had a difficult time and finally just tossed it down to the ground (along with a few choice words I won't mention).


Another rescue attempt, this time Scott Hampton (back to the camera) and another kiter (on the left with a long pole) are helping Don Mock untangle his foil from the kite eating tree.

The Fighter Kite Shoot-out planned by Randy Shannon, was cancelled due to lack of winds on Sat. Randy was able to conduct an informal Fighter Pilot meeting Sat. night with a few of the AKA Fighter Committee members present, Johnny, Brian Johnsen, and Rick Miller, plus he included Basir Beria and Scott Hampton (who helped keep them all on track!) I understand the committee made some progress on reviewing the current AKA Fighter Rulebook, before they were off to play Blackjack or the slot machines.

Steve Bateman from San Diego
Scott Skinner and Steve Bateman put on short demos with their buggies, although neither of them could be presuaded to do the "David Britton body surfing across the Colorado River" demo [Grin], mainly because there were too many jet skis and boats on the river to watch out for. 
I really enjoyed watching Roger Maddy do his "Sky writing" with his No.2 Pencil Kite. There were several Candy drops for the kiddies, and the Balloon Man was there again with all of his creations.
Michelle had a fun time playing with her friend Ramsey, and two new friends, Mystica and Forrest Eller, the children of Brandon and Leicia Eller of Mystical Kites, Arizona. 
They especially enjoyed the volleyball sandpit, and we had to soak them clean before we could eat dinner saturday night.

 Here, Ramsey and Michelle are taking a short rest before heading off in another direction. 

Brandon Eller has designed some new small kites which are quite unique. Striped shorts, black swim trunks with hot pink poka dots, and a "nerd" shirt complete with large tie and pens in the pocket. Everyone had their cameras out when Johnny "Modeled" them
...they were just his size! 


The "Shorts" kite stuck in a tree. 


Brandon Eller and Johnny.

Sunday was *THE* day for most of the demos...Flight Squadron; Ron "QuadKing" Despojado and his partner, Nicole; Kobi and Manual; I know I'm forgetting some.... And then "Sheep and the Wolf" Game. I was able to get several great photos of the "Sheep" in action...trying to get their kites launched (tangled lines were everywhere), and to stay up in the air, before the wolves, Johnny and Basir, cut them out of the sky, or if their kites dropped out of the sky, the kids pounced on it. Johnny cut 6 kites before his line made contact with Basir's and off his kite went...all the way over the hotel.

Sunday night we were treated to a fantastic view of the Partial Lunar Eclipse and the Hale-Bopp Comet.
Kiters I was able to visit with included: Larry and Linda Mixon, Charlie M'Clary and his grandson Sean, Calvin and Dale Vanderhoof, Klaus Bertram (NV), Dorine and Paul Imbach, Sandy and Ron Gibbian, Dean Hines (AZ), Karen Gustavson, Kathy Goodwind (WA), Don Mock (WA), and Kelly Reed (TX). 

Other Good news to report: Kathy Plummer's daughter, who got married at the Avi festival in November '96, is pregnant, so we'll get to meet the new baby at the November 21-23, 1997 festival.


Charlie and Sean stop to watch
Ron, the "QuadKing" perform. 


SPECIAL THANKS to Karen Gustavson for providing the pictures that grace this page.
All images Copyright (C) 1997. Last Update June 11, 1997.
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