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People can fly their own kites at 10 a.m. Saturday and Sunday.
Gift of Wings kite store of Milwaukee will have an on-site location where people can purchase kites to participate in the event.
“We ask people to come out and bring their kites,” said Scott Fisher, who owns Gift of Wings. “If they don’t have a kite, they can buy one from us.”
The event will include kite-flying teams from throughout the United States and Canada. Some of the featured performers will include Yves LaForest, the Chicago Fire Kite Team and the Windjammers Kite Team.
“The Chicago Fire Kite Team is kind of like the Blue Angels with kites. Their kite performances are choreographed to music,” Fisher said. “Yves LaForest from Montreal will have a 150-foot kite, which will be held down by about 4,000 poles.”
Dave Sekeres, general manager of Lake Lawn Resort, said he is impressed with the performers that are scheduled to be a part of the festivities.
“It’s a great feeling to have these people come into Delavan,” Sekeres said. “It will be nice to have people coming into Delavan to watch this show. When we see the smiles on the children’s faces, it will all be worthwhile. ... I feel fortunate to have these experienced people come with their kites.”
Sky Circus on Ice also will include ice carving and snow sculpting contests. The winners will be announced on Monday, Feb. 17. There also will be snow sculpting and ice carving demonstrations at Lake Lawn Resort and in downtown Delavan. Artists will use blocks of ice and snow to sculpt circus-themed images.
“Once we knew that we could get the performers, we got locked into the planning stages,” Sekeres said. “We also wanted to get the community involved, so we decided to have an ice and snow sculpting contest.”
Sky Circus on Ice also will feature indoor kite crafting stations and kite-flying lessons. Connor Doran, a former “America’s Got Talent” contestant, will give an indoor performance. There also will be kite exhibits, live music, concession stands and two warming stations.
“We’re trying to make it to where it’s not completely weather dependent. We have put some things in place in case we have poor weather,” Sekeres said. “We will have indoor kite flying. We have lots of things in place as a backup in case we have poor weather.”
Sky Circus on Ice is being organized by Gift of Wings kite store and Winterfun Inc. and sponsored by the Delavan-Delavan Lake Area Chamber of Commerce and Lake Lawn Resort.
Jackie Busch, executive director of the Delavan-Delavan Lake Area Chamber of Commerce, said they have been working on the festival since October.
“We knew we had to do something to attract people to Delavan during the winter,” Busch said. “It’s a slower time of year for us. ... Gift of Wings thought this would be a good thing to do. They thought it would be a good thing to have a kite fly in the winter, and that’s how it was born.”
A small-scale kite event was held in Delavan last winter, but Fisher said he knew it could be a bigger attraction.
“I’ve always wanted to do (a kite show) on ice in the middle of winter,” Fisher said. “I asked people at Lake Lawn Resort if we could do a kite-flying event, and they said yes. We did a small event last year without any advertising, and it was so popular that we wanted to make this into a regular kite festival with performers and teams.
“Lake Lawn Resort is a perfect place because Delavan Lake is near its backdoor.”
Fisher said he has been hosting kite-flying festivals in southern Wisconsin and northern Illinois for about 25 years. He said the events have grown in popularity.
“In Milwaukee, we started with between 3,000 and 4,000 people. Now, it’s grown to attract between 25,000 to 30,000 people,” Fisher said. “We don’t expect to attract that many people the first time in Delavan, but we do expect a lot of people to attend.”
Fisher said kite festivals seem to attract all ages.
“Kite festivals aren’t just a bunch of kids running around with their kites. It’s a large event with professional kite flyers,” Fisher said. “It brings out the whole family, from kids to grandparents. It’s something that people don’t see every day.”
Sekeres said many residents and business owners in the community seem to be excited about the festival.
“We have a lot of local businesses that have become sponsors,” Sekeres said. “There’s a lot of costs to get the kite performers to come.
“The schools are excited. Some of the performers are going to go into the schools to talk to students and give performances. The community has been really receptive.”
Sekeres said he hopes Sky Circus on Ice becomes an annual event.
“When we plan something, we look at what we can do to make it better,” Sekeres said. “We want to build on our own successes.”