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Author Topic: Richmond Air Force Kite Festival  (Read 3228 times)
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« on: March 08, 2011, 05:05 PM »

The Richmond Air Force  (here in Virginia) has been holding a Children's Kite Fly for 12 years and last Saturday we did it again. In the past we had a nice little kite fly with families sitting on blankets while the children either watched us or flew kites themselves. We expected the same sort of laid back, relaxed afternoon. We showed up at 7:00 AM , set up our demo field, turned on the music, and settled down for a pleasant day.  AND THEN the kids and parents began arriving. It was about what we expected but then - about 10 AM - we noticed that there were a lot of cars entering the park, and then we noticed that the police were allowing incoming vehicles to drive in the exit lane as well as in the entrance lane ( there is only one road into the park).

At noon, they were still coming and we realized that there might be a few extra people. 3:00 PM and they were still coming. Park officials were opening up fields that we had never seen open for parking. 6 Soccer fields were open for kite flying and they were packed, We were told that the cars were backed up 2 or 3 miles outside the park and the wait was 1 to 2 hours.

At 4:00 PM, we turned off the music, broke down the demo field,  packed up our kites and equipment, and headed to the exit. There were at least 1500 people still flying. We have heard that the county officials had been click counting the number of cars all day and the final count was 8000 (cars give or take). The projected attendance was three people per car (do the math) . Pretty awesome numbers considering the fact that our previous highs were estimated at 12,000. We are still sort of numb.

       I'm aware that there have been bigger festivals - much bigger - but, when you double your previous numbers from your previous festival, you have to think that something is happening.

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« Reply #1 on: March 08, 2011, 07:50 PM »

It was definitely an impressive event. Hopefully next year they can work out the kinks with the parking situation, the officials seemed quite overwhelmed. I noticed when I left at three, the sign on Laburnum said "Kite Festival, Park Full, No Parking). It's a shame as I saw quite a few people turn around after waiting 30min in traffic to get into the park.
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