I was never good at flying kites. Each spring I remember the display boxes of paper kites, all rolled up and talking my mom into the purchase, plus a big roll of official kite string.
Once home the kite was put together, a tail was attached and outside to …crash it into the ground and break it. But if Greg Bellamy is successful in getting his idea off the ground I might just get another opportunity!
Bellamy shared his vision with members of West End Business and Professional Association last Wednesday morning. Bellamy is a former police officer, corrections officer, and National Guard recruiter and is now retired. As a member of the Clallam Bay-Sekiu Lions Club and a Chamber member, Bellamy looked around his community and realized he needed to do something. “What is Sekiu known for?” Bellamy asked the group, “fishing.” Bellamy explained with the uncertain fishing seasons and the timber industry in the same boat Sekiu needs to think “outside the box.” Something new is needed.
“We are not using our little park, the chamber is not using what we have, we need a Kite Festival.”
Bellamy contacted the Washington Kitefliers Association and is working with them to organize the event in Sekiu-Clallam Bay. The WFA was started in 1973 by a group of friends. Bellamy went to Ocean Shores last May and flew a kite, “I noticed families enjoying being together, just having fun,” Bellamy said. “Nobody was on their cellphone, it was good, clean fun.”
Bellamy also shared that kite flying is no longer just those little paper kites. Kite buyers can spend thousands of dollars on a kite, there is ‘kite dancing’ sort of like synchronized swimming set to music with judges and there is even indoor kite flying. There are even professional kite flyers.
Other ideas for the event include kite making, with a historical angle. “I want to get the kids making kites, maybe even Ben Frankin’s silk kite.” Bellamy is also working with a George Washington look-a-like.
Bellamy said it will take about a year to get everything organized and he is looking to form a committee. “I am looking for suggestions, as far as food trucks, vendors, what do people want to see there,” Bellamy said.
Bellamy hopes that his event will draw people from all over benefiting the economy of the entire West End. The kite flying events to the south of us usually draw 3,500-5,000 kite flyers.
The president of the WKA, Casey Shearer, will be coming to Clallam Bay for the first planning meeting on Tuesday, Sept. 10 from 4-6 p.m. at the Lions Clubhouse, 90 Bogachiel St. Anyone interested is welcome to attend.
For more information or questions contact Greg Bellamy at 360-640-4164.
Maybe I can get a chance to crash one of those really expensive kites!!