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Friday, 20 January 2017 10:27

Kite-flying teams gather in Delavan

Written by  Dennis Hines
Weather permitting, kites will fly Saturday and Sunday, Feb. 18 and Feb. 19, on Delavan Lake near Lake Lawn Resort. Sky Circus on Ice festivities run Feb. 17 through Feb. 19 at Lake Lawn Resort. Weather permitting, kites will fly Saturday and Sunday, Feb. 18 and Feb. 19, on Delavan Lake near Lake Lawn Resort. Sky Circus on Ice festivities run Feb. 17 through Feb. 19 at Lake Lawn Resort. Terry Mayer/file photo

WALWORTH COUNTY SUNDAY -- When someone says, “Go fly a kite,” most people don’t think of heading out to the lake during the winter.

But that is what will happen in Delavan during the annual Sky Circus on Ice held Friday through Sunday, Feb. 17 through Feb. 19, at Lake Lawn Resort.

Festivities will kick off about 10 a.m. Feb. 18 and Feb. 19 with a grand launch ceremony.

“We hope to have at least 500 kites flying in the sky,” said Scott Fisher, one of the organizers for Sky Circus. “We will have kites flying to the Mary Poppins’ song ‘Let’s Go Fly a Kite.’”

The event will include kite-flying teams performing near the lake throughout the day. Some of the featured teams include the Chicago Fire Kite Team, The Windjammers and The Canadian Dream Team. There will be several individual kite performers, as well.

“We have teams coming from Canada and throughout the United States,” said Jackie Busch, executive director for the Delavan-Delavan Lake Area Chamber of Commerce. “They will be doing kite acrobatics. These kites generally have six or more strings. We have a French kite flyer coming with his gigantic kites. He has an octopus kite that’s about 150 feet long. The teams will be flying their kites to music. Some of the teams will be giving kite-flying demonstrations, so people can learn how to fly multistring kites.”

Fisher said most of the performers have won kite-flying competitions.

“All are award-winning performers,” Fisher said. “We say they all have the right to perform here because they have the trophies to prove it.”

Connor Doran, former “America’s Got Talent” contestant, will perform at 1 p.m., 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. Feb. 18 and 1 p.m. and 2 p.m. Feb. 19 at Lake Lawn Resort. Doran also will perform at area schools Feb. 17.

“Connor and his mother, Amy, do an amazing performance indoors, but I’m sure we will get them outdoors, too,” Fisher said. “The kites they fly don’t need wind because they’re so light weight.”

Fisher said there will be several activities going on between each performance.

“In between, we will have an Andes Candies drop where we will have Andes Candies dropping from the sky,” Fisher said. “We will be having a brat drop where we will have brats dropping from the sky and we will be dropping T-shirts from the sky. We will have a Kids Mad Dash, and the first 100 kids who register will receive a free kite.”

The event will include kite-making demonstrations, and Fisher, who owns Gift of Wings in Milwaukee, will be selling kites inside the resort.

“People can’t miss us. We’ll have a whole store set up,” Fisher said. “Lake Lawn Resort will be selling food, and they’re known for their food. So, there will be food for people who would like to participate.”

Besides the kite-flying activities, snow and ice sculptures will be featured at Delavan Lake and throughout downtown Delavan.

“The theme for this year’s event is superheroes,” Busch said. “So, all the snow and ice sculptures will be done in a superhero theme.”

Donald Berg, executive director of Winter Fun Events, said the event will feature sculptors from throughout the Midwest.

“We’ve got teams from Minnesota, Michigan, Wisconsin and Illinois,” Berg said. “The carvers from the four states are marvelous.”

Berg said the sculptures will not be a part of a competition but will be displayed.

“We’re really putting more of a focus on the creative art than on the teams trying to win,” Berg said. “We’ve backed off on trying to find a winner. The focus is more on what (the sculptors) can do than the flavor of competition.”

Berg said there will be a large ice sculpture slide.

“People can climb up the side on a wooden structure, then kids can slide down on the design,” Berg said.

Fisher said Sky Circus has been a popular event during the past few years.

“Last year, we had close to 15,000 people attended. The cool thing about this event is the music and the announcing is piped in at the Lake Lawn Resort, so even if people don’t want to go outside they can stay inside and hear and see what’s going on,” Fisher said. “Sometimes it’s too cold, and it’s a great way to watch the event. Ninety-five percent of us are from the area, so we come prepared for the cold weather.”

Busch said the event helps attract people to the Delavan area.

“It attracts tourists during the offseason,” Busch said. “Most people travel and go on vacation during the summer. It’s a good way to show people that they can have fun in Delavan and that Delavan can be a destination during the winter.”

Sky Circus on Ice is organized by the Delavan-Delavan Lake Area Chamber of Commerce, Lake Lawn Resort, Gift of Wings and Winter Fun Events.

Fisher said he hosts about eight kite-flying events throughout the year. He said kite-flying has become a more popular activity during the past few years.

“Remember the old days when you had paper kites and you used your mom’s sheets for the tail? Now, kites are lighter and they don’t break as easily,” Fisher said. “Having lighter material allows you to create neat designs. Twenty years ago, you would fly a kite a few times and it would break. Now, a kite could last until your kids go to college. Enthusiasm has grown and grown. It’s getting kids off their phones and computers and outdoors playing, and they like it.”



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