by Marianne Gasaway
The Clear Lake Area Chamber of Commerce has announced that Kay and Larry Day have been named as Grand Marshals of the community’s Fourth of July parade.
The Days are the founders and organizers of the annual Color the Wind kite festival held on Clear Lake each February. The 2019 event marked the 18th year and the biggest flying field ever for the colorful celebration.
In 2018, the event drew an estimated 10,000 people to watch incredibly large and colorful kites fill the sky over the frozen waters of Clear Lake. CBS Sunday Morning came to film the festival and the program was viewed worldwide. As a result, an even larger influx of visitors attended the event in 2019.
In addition to huge kites, such as a 60-foot whale, fiery red dragon, or huge astronaut floating over the lake, the event has encouraged many to try their hand at flying kites. The Days have worked with the Clear Lake Arts Center to host a reception for kite flyers the night before the event, as well as feature kite artwork by local youngsters. Kite making workshops are also part of the fun for novices.
Stunt kite teams also inspire by demonstrating their skill and precision by flying two and four-line kites in exciting programs choreographed to music. A kite shop provides the opportunity to pick out an “upgrade” to join in the fun.
Larry Day says the event has grown far beyond his expectations when he first started it in 2001.
Color the Wind has been featured in the magazines Midwest Living, Our Iowa, Disney’s Family Fun, Senior Advantage Living, AAA Iowa/Minnesota, and many more. Iowa Public Television has covered the event and the story is still being shown. The video is also available on YouTube or through the link on the Color the Wind website.