Making Kites at Happen Inc. for Northside Kite Fly...this Saturday!

Apr 3, 2014

The American Kite Flyers Association has declared April, National Kite Month. And Saturday, April 5th, Cincinnati’s Northside neighborhood is hosting a Kite Fly for all. Kids and adults are welcomed to make a kite at Happen Inc. in Northside before the big Kite Fly.

It’s a Tuesday afternoon at 4:30 and Debbie Von Bokern is doing one of her favorite things:  teaching kids and adults how to make their own kites.

Debbie taught woodworking at the University of Cincinnati for twenty years. And now she and husband Joe make and fly kites . It started for them in 1995 when the artists were on vacation and happened to see a kite festival.

Debbie:  We had taken kites to fly and after that we found out that there was a whole network of kite flyers. There’s the American kite flyers association, there are kite flyers all over the United States, there are kite festivals, there’s an annual convention that you can go to and meet other kite flyers and pick up on tricks and see what the new technology is. So, there’s just a whole group of people that get out and play with the wind.

On this day two or three  people at a time  stroll into Happen Incorporated in Cincinnati’s  Northside neighborhood to make their own kite. Happen Inc. is a non- profit agency that teaches art to parents and kids for free. Director Tommy Rueff smooths a piece of orange plastic out on the table to make his own kite. He’s looking forward to the community kite fly in his neighborhood . He says so far Debbie has held two kite making sessions  at Happen Inc. and there’ll be another April 5th from 10-12.

Tommy: What we like to do, we call it the three E’s. We always like to educate, entertain, and empower. And I think Debbie’s coming here sharing her talents and passion for kites and flying kites, it’s just a wonderful opportunity for kids and adults to experience and be a part of . And I’m looking forward to the kite fly because that’s gonna be that empowerment, when they see their own kites that they’ve built, not that they’ve gone out and bought them. That they put their mind and their imagination into I think that’s just gonna be a wonderful day.

4 year old Levi and  6 year old Issac True are carefully drawing  designs on their kites before attaching the tails. Holding their one year old baby sister, Mom ,Sarah is enjoying watching her  boys making kites for the very first time .

Sarah: I had no idea how they were going to do it. It’s really incredible how they’re piecing it together.

Cheri: What did you imagine before you came?

Sarah: I thought they were just gonna have kites that were made and the kids would just draw on them but this is really more putting it together and I like that because they’re measuring and cutting and taping and they love cutting and taping everything so.

Levi and Issac are working very intently on making their kites. 6 year old Issac picked the color red for his kite and there’s something he especially likes about making the kite.

Issac: Um, drawing the picture. Cheri ; thank you.

Cheri: What’s your name?

Levi: Levi.

Cheri: What are you doing here today?

Levi: Making a kite.

Cheri: What color did you pick?

Levi: White.

Cheri: Ohh, I like that. What are you drawing?

Levi: A tornado.

With experienced kite makers Debbie says, a sewing machine is sometimes required. But for beginners like the folks at Happen Inc. today, she’s teaching a basic, called a sled kite.

Debbie: I do the basic model with the kids. We like making a sled kite because it flies really easily. It’ll fly when the kids run, it’ll fly when there’s not wind and it flies when it’s really windy. So that’s our favorite kite to make.

Kites created and collected by Debbie and her husband Joe are on display at Ruth’s Parkside Café in Northside through April 26th.  Anyone who’d like to fly a kite is welcomed to meet on the grass at the corner of Hamilton Avenue and Blue Rock Rd ,April 5th and join in the kite fly on the grass in front of Ruth’s.

(if you already have a kite you are also welcome)