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Remember when

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By Special to the Monitor

Remember when it was an eternity from birthday to birthday? When your mom could send you to the corner store with a quarter to pick up a loaf of bread and you had money left over to buy a piece of candy? When you could lie on your back for hours, holding on to a string, gazing at your kite floating overhead, just daydreaming? Well, time continues to accelerate and inflation continues to make that quarter worth less and less, but the good news is that you can still spend the day gazing at kites floating overhead.

The Los Alamos Arts Council presents the 11th annual Los Alamos Kite Festival this weekend at the Spirio soccer fields in White Rock. Thanks to the funding by Los Alamos National Bank, admission to the Kite Festival is free.

The festival weekend kicks off at the soccer fields Friday with a Los Alamos County Summer Concert, the South Austin Jug Band. During this time, a night kite-fly demonstration will take place. In this event, small lights are attached to kites before they are launched into the night sky. It is an amazing light show over White Rock.

The main festival will be held from 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, and includes music, food, kite-building workshops for kids and lots of kite flying.

Activities include the ever-popular Candy Drop, which began in 2002. A plastic bag is filled with wrapped hard candy and is launched on a kite-like giant kite piata. The bag is eventually split open and candy falls from the sky, but not until the children have chased the kite all over the field. Kite enthusiasts from all over the Southwest fly their large, shaped kites and handmade flying works of art, demonstrate stunt kite flying, and grace the fields with incredibly colorful banners.

Free kite-building workshops for kids are scheduled noon-2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Kids are invited to build and decorate very simple kite kits with assistance from volunteers. Kids use both their craft and artistic skills to put literally hundreds of these kites up in the sky over the two-day festival. For the 6-and-younger crowd, pre-built kites are available for decorating. A free T-shirt is given to every child who builds or decorates a kite. A kite hospital is staffed with kite medics to mend the inevitable broken and injured kites using sticks, duct tape and ingenuity. For those who do not wish to build their own, a kite vendor, the Kite Farm from Kansas, will be at the festival with a selection of ready-to-fly kites to purchase.

A number of food vendors will be on hand to sell a tempting variety of snacks, lunches and drinks.

Everyone young at heart is invited. Bring a kite, build a kite, fly a kite or just take in the artful scene. For more information about this event, call the Los Alamos Arts Council at 663-0477. Los Alamos Arts Council also sponsors the Brown Bag series at Fuller Lodge, the Missoula Children’s Theater, the Film Society, the Pumpkin Glow, and two Arts and Crafts Fairs.