March 24 – Cherry Blossom Kite Festival

Right before it was blown away.

The kite festival was back after a two year hiatus.  The Kite Fest starts off the Cherry Blossom Festival.  People converge on the Mall around the Washington Monument to celebrate kite flying.  Everyone tries it.  Even me.  At least once a year I break out our kites and give it a go.  The wind is excellent around the monument and the area is clear of buildings and trees, so it is generally safe flying. 

As we approached the Mall, we were puzzled because we did not see very many kites in the air.  As we neared the monument, the reason became quite clear.  The wind was howling.  It was as cold as a winter’s day.  There were numerous kites mangled on the ground or stuck in kite eating cherry trees.  

Kite eating tree

  Undaunted I decided to try my kite.  It was a double box kite and it was going to go far fast.  I managed to get it into the air, but it was the wrong kite for the weather. I was wrestling with it as it bounced around on the air currents.  Then one terrific gust, and boom, the kite string broke and the kite was gone.  It dove to the ground like a kamikaze and then rolled right into the kite competition area.  Oops!  I ran after it, but it kept rolling.  I finally caught up with it about a half mile later when someone stopped it and folded it up.  Well, so much for kite flying.  We turned to leave and the sky before us was filled with dark gray clouds.  Even though it was the end of March, snow and sleet pummeled us as we made our way another half mile to the car.  That was pretty miserable.  Such is the weather in D.C.  It can be 80º and sunny one day and 30º with snow the next.  That’s okay.  It makes life a bit more interesting.  

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