Something’s in the wind: Dangberg hosting kite weekend May 20-21 | RecordCourier.com

Something’s in the wind: Dangberg hosting kite weekend May 20-21

by Amy Alonzo
aalonzo@recordcourier.com

Norm Vandersmith remembers flying kites when he was a kid, and 60 years later the sport still holds his interest.

"It's a challenge to master," he said. "You have to be very delicate in your controls."

Vandersmith, 70, of Minden, grew up flying kites in Redlands, Calif.

"We'd tie strings together so we could see how long it could go," he said.

“I’m pretty new at it and I can’t do hardly any of the tricks that these really good guys can I do, but I’m trying.”

— Norm Vandersmith

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He rediscovered his childhood hobby last year during Dangberg Home Ranch's "Something in the Wind" kite weekend.

"I went to the kite festival at Dangberg Ranch and that got me more interested," he said. "Before that I had a couple cheap kites I tried to fly."

After going to Dangberg he and his wife, Sue, traveled to a kite festival in Washington, and he went solo to a festival in Coleville. Since last year he has acquired a handful of kites, including a couple used for stunts.

"You can maneuver them, you can make them turn around, you can make them land — there's all kinds of tricks you can do with them," he said. "I'm pretty new at it and I can't do hardly any of the tricks that these really good guys can I do, but I'm trying."

Vandersmith has had a hard time connecting with other flyers in the area and finding open places to fly. He currently flies in a field near Minden Elementary School or at Dangberg, but always by himself — he hasn't met any other Douglas residents interested in kite flying. He's hoping to connect with others interested in the sport at Dangberg's kite weekend, set for May 20-21.

The festival drew about 150 people last year, said Dangberg Events Manager Kim Copel-Harris.

The free event is "a way to start the summer season of events and celebrate the wind," she said.

This year's festival runs from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. both days and will feature demonstrations by professional kite flyers and crafts and kites for sale. Volunteers from the Carson Valley Arts Council will also be on hand to offer arts and crafts for children from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. both days.

Copel-Harris said attendees are encouraged to bring a picnic lunch.