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Beauty and the breeze
Eye catching ‘mega’ kites return to Great Bend
kite pic
The skies of Great Bend will be filled with whimsical mega kites, weather permitting, Saturday afternoon, one of the features of Party in the Park.

Friday evening, weather permitting, Great Bend may enjoy a sneak preview to the mega kite display that will be one of the features of the 2019 Party in the Park on Saturday. Sean and Stephanie Beaver, owners of the Great American Kites and Events LLC, will begin setting up several of the goliath inflatable kites featuring whimsical creatures in bright, eye-catching colors that have been known to draw in passersby from miles away to their events.

“The kites we fly aren’t for the faint of heart,” Beaver said. Community engagement is his passion. “Getting kids off the couch and families onto the grass spending time together is what we’re all about.”

Together, the Beavers travel and present around 35 displays in seven states throughout the year. 

They began flying kites 15 years ago, and five years ago their hobby became their profession when they started Great American Kites. 

According to Beaver, their world class collection includes an extensive array of enormous show kites (many that weigh over 100 pounds), wind feather banners and ground displays that help promote events and give children who attend events something they can get up close to and see safely. The center pieces of the kite collection include a giant trilobite, caterpillars, large kitty cats, a giant manta ray, eight giant whales, bears, dogs, fish, horses, octopus and squid kites, crab, tigers, a giant blue bird plus many more, he said. 

One of their largest kites is actually a giant windsock that is three stories tall and 200 feet long. Finding a venue large enough to launch and land it from is a challenge not many venues can meet, Beaver said. 

While the kites themselves are mesmerizing to watch, games are planned for the afternoon too. Kids won’t want to miss the giant parachute or the candy-drop pinata kite, Beaver hinted. 

“We’re in the amazing memory business,” he said.

For those bitten hard by the kite flying bug, GAK will have a mobile kite retail store on-site with smaller kites kids can fly at the event, prices starting at $3. 

Here’s a quick run-down of events happening at Party in the Park this Saturday:

8:30 a.m. —Tuff Enuff Mud Run

9 a.m. — Oozefest Mud Volleyball tournament start

10 a.m. — Wet and Dry Parade at 17th St. Terrace

11 a.m.- 5 p.m. — Mega Kite display and activities north side of park Great Bend Optimists Kids Fun Zone

2 p.m. - 6 p.m. — Free Car Show featuring vintage, stock, and off-road vehicles

3 p.m. — Pickle Eating Contest at south side of Veterans Lake

6 p.m. — Concert featuring Alex Moyers, Mountain Deer Revival and Dirty River Boys at Veterans Memorial Park baseball field

10 p.m. — Fireworks over the lake