Ever wanted to watch professional kite handlers? ‘Soar on the Shore’ is coming to Algoma
ALGOMA – It’s about the kites, sure. But it’s also about the beach where they’re flown.
The “Soar on the Shore” kite festival will take place for the fourth time Saturday, on the Lake Michigan shore in downtown Algoma. Like other kite-flying events, it provides visitors with the chance to see professional teams have their kites swoop, soar, dance and perform aerial routines, some set to music.
It also offers flying exhibitions by kites big and small, demonstrations and the chance to fly one’s own kite. Children can make their own kite or windsock and chase down candy dropped from a kite.
Along with the kite-related activities, visitors can paint a beach rock (part of the “Algoma Rocks” celebration) to leave behind for others to view or take home
A cleaner Crescent Beach
While the kites and their flyers are the main attractions, “Soar on the Shore” also is a chance for the city to show off Crescent Beach, site of the festival, and the renovation and clean-up work championed by Friends of Crescent Beach, a support group that works with local governments and agencies to make the beach a destination for residents and visitors.
Only months after the Friends formed, “Soar on the Shore” was born.
“In 2015, we formed to address issues related to the beach,” said Cathy Pabich, steering committee coordinator for the Friends group. “We learned we had the opportunity to get grant money to renovate the beach (which) included the provision of providing entertainment on the beach.”
The group contacted the Greenfield-based Wisconsin Kiters Club, which puts on shows across the state.
“They happened to have the date free, and off we went,” Pabich said.
The Friends organize the festival, co-sponsored each year by the Algoma Area Chamber of Commerce. Sara Krouse, the chamber’s executive director, said it offered a good opportunity to work together with one of its member organizations.
“The Friends of Crescent Beach approached the chamber about doing an event on the beach to celebrate its beauty,” Krouse said. “We have this wonderful resource, and we wanted to do something to encourage people to get out on the beach.’
The inaugural “Soar” saw the best conditions for kite flying, but “the wind and weather don’t always cooperate,” Pabich said. So, since that first year, the event has added several family activities to go along with the aerial shows.
Because “Soar” doesn’t charge admission, Krouse said it’s difficult to gauge attendance, although Pabich said an estimated 1,500 people came for the 2015 debut. Krouse said, however, she noticed a number of out-of-state license plates while walking around downtown during last year’s festival.
The Wisconsin Kiters are back for this year’s show, along with representatives of Unique Flying Objects, a kite/flag/windsock and more shop in Two Rivers. But, again, the kites in the skies are sharing the stage with the sand and boardwalk below.
“The kites in the air are lovely, but we have a beautiful beach to enjoy,” Pabich said. “We are really looking to highlight our beach.”
If you go
The “Soar on the Shore” kite festival runs from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday at Crescent Beach, along the Lake Michigan shoreline, Algoma. Kite flying depends on weather and wind conditions; rain date is Sunday.
A raffle will raise funds for Friends of Crescent Beach. Concessions will be available from the Algoma Optimist Club and Algoma School District Destination Imagination team.
For more information, call 920-487-2041 or go to visitalgomawi.com/soar.
This article originally appeared on Green Bay Press-Gazette: Ever wanted to watch professional kite handlers? 'Soar on the Shore' is coming to Algoma