For 18 years a tradition has taken place in Eastern Idaho, all you have to look up to the sky and you will see people participating in the annual Kite Festival.
The festival happens on the Rigby High School lawn on May 5 from noon to 5 p.m. The festival will have kites for sale, kites kids will be able to build and a “running of the bulls.”
The first kite festival took place in 2000 in Idaho Falls. The first time the festival took place Dean Turnblom, the creator of the event, said only 7 people came, but now they have had more than 1,000 people attending.
Turnblom has always had a love for flying kites and thanks his father for that.
“When I was probably 7 or 8, my dad got me with some newspapers and a couple of sticks that he had cut up on the shop and we made a little diamond kite of newspapers,” Turnblom said. “I went outside and tried to fly it and when it got ripped he just taught me how to replace the paper so I could keep flying that kite, and I just thought it was fun so I have always flown kites.”
Turnblom said the idea of the kite festival came up around the year 2000 after he had been complaining to his wife about not being able to find a good kite shop in Idaho Falls.
“I was complaining to my wife and told her I wanted a good kite and it made me mad that I couldn’t buy one and she said ‘why don’t you just open a store and sell them’ so I thought ‘mm ok’ and so I did,” Turnblom said.
That year they started Sunrise Kites and figured if they had a kite shop then they needed to have a kite festival.
The festival, Turnblom said, is a place where people can get together and fly kites and just have fun. He said there is probably as many people who go to watch the kites as there are people who actually fly kites.
He said people should come to the festival just for the fun of it.
“The name of the festival is called, Kiting Just for Fun, and that is truly what it is,” Turnblom said. “If you just want to come over there and throw a blanket on the grass, have a picnic and watch the kites fly, you’re going to have fun. If you want to come and fly a kite, you’re going to have fun.”
Turnblom said the one thing in a kite festival is that you are able to see people just smiling because they are having a good time. He said that is what they want to see and is something that we need in this day and age.
If you would like to get a hold of Turnblom for more information about the event or would like to help in the event you can call 208-524-5551 or 208-847-5552.