Scissortail Family Kite Day — A Wind-Wind Situation
Vol.6 Issue 7

Family Kite Day at Scissortail Park Video

The Scissortail Park Family Kite Day held on September 12, 2020, brought an exciting day of kite flying, music, and STEM activities to downtown Oklahoma City.

"Paper, ribbon, sticks, and strings; glued together and crafted to fly
A diamond of color held aloft, I stand on earth and touch the sky."
-Anonymous

Kites of all colors, designs, and shapes touched the Oklahoma skies as they sailed above the green lawns of Scissortail Park in downtown Oklahoma City. The sounds and excitement of a kite festival unfolded below. The Scissortail Park Family Kite Day, hosted on September 12, 2020 from 10am-2pm, invited community members from across the metro area to enjoy a day of kite flying, kite building, food trucks, music and fun! Tents were set up across the park, which hosted a series of educational and entertaining Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) and Aviation & Space Education (AVSED) activities; educating attendees about aviation and the science of kite flying. Beautiful weather and inviting sunshine made for a delightful and relaxing community event.

A butterfly kite takes to the skies as another kite floats lazily above the Oklahoma City skyline at the first annual Scissortail Family Kite Day.
Families were thrilled to visit with Sonic’s Mascot Mr. Cherry Limeade, named after one of Sonic’s top selling drinks.

Beautiful kites splashed their colors across the Oklahoma sky, showing their bright colors and fun shapes floating above, as children and adults-alike held the strings and kept the kites aloft. There were character-themed kites, bird and butterfly shaped kites, box kites, arrow and dart shaped kites, all gracing the skies.

There were kite styles for every preference and experience level. There were traditional diamond kites with ribbon tails dancing along, and colorful dragon kites pulling long, flowing tails. An octopus-shaped kite even danced across the sky with rainbow colored tentacles streaming behind!

The backdrop of the Oklahoma City skyline made for an ideal location for the inaugural Family Kite Day.
Participants ran across the lawn in an effort to give their kites lift.

The FAA Mike Monroney Aeronautical Center (MMAC) was proud to partner with Scissortail Park to present the first annual Family Kite Day. With months of pre-planning, MMAC and Scissortail Park worked with Oklahoma Engineering Foundation, Central Oklahoma STEM Alliance (COSTEMA), the Urban Land Institute, Oklahoma City Chamber of Commerce, and Oklahoma City and Edmond Public Schools along with other sponsors to put this half-day event together.

Social distancing was in place during the Family Kite Day at Scissortail Park.
250 STEM bags were given away on a first-come, first-served basis to Kite Day attendees

The goal of the Family Kite Day was to provide a fun and safe atmosphere for all involved, while reinforcing the importance of STEM education. The MMAC’s original intent was to work with these partners to bring numerous STEM AVSED activities and even provide interactive displays for the event, but the ongoing global health crisis squelched such plans. With all FAA STEM AVSED activities now transferring to online virtual events, rather than in-person events, the MMAC worked behind the scenes to support and help community partners from a distance with logistical support. Thanks to employees from the FAA’s Logistics Center, the MMAC was able to provide several large drum fans at the Scissortail Park to provide some supplemental air for the moments when the Oklahoma winds subsided. Average wind speed for the event ranged from 4-9 mph, so surprisingly the fans came in handy for those kites needing an immediate lift.

Despite the setbacks caused by the global health crisis, the event was an incredible and visibly beautiful success. The Scissortail Park Family Kite Day staff worked to ensure the safety of all visitors by ensuring that the CDC guidelines and social distancing practices were followed. Attendees protected themselves with face coverings, especially when it was not possible to maintain social distancing in the great expanse of the outdoor park.

Proud sponsors of the first annual Scissortail Park Family Kite Day.

By all accounts, the Family Kite Day was an "uplifting" community event! Approximately 1,000 people enjoyed flying kites over the park’s four and a half acre "Great Lawn." Free grab bags (assembled by community partners) and free STEM Learning Kits (put together by the Oklahoma Engineering Foundation) were quickly depleted only an hour and a half after the event had begun! The STEM AVSED tents were also popular with attendees. Cyclists riding through the park and people out enjoying the pleasant weather with their dogs stopped for a while to enjoy the flying kites.

While the global health crisis tried its best to hinder the Scissortail Park Family Kite Day, the kites persisted in soaring above it all. Families and friends safely enjoyed themselves and some may have learned something new about kites. The success of this first annual Family Kite Day has set the stage for next year’s kite festival. The partnerships formed between the FAA’s MMAC, Scissortail Park and their many friends and supporters is certain to ensure next year’s success.

 
 
 
 
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