Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Clogtown: The 2020 Lake Harriet Kite Festival!

I almost wish I hadn't known about the Lake Harriet (Bde Unma) Kite Festival last weekend in advance, because it would have been so magical to have just rolled up on the lake and seen all the colorful kites flying over the ice as a surprise ... because it was already super magical just to see.

The previous weekend had been ultra cold and windy when I went to visit the Art Shanty Projects, and attendance had been pretty sparse. Well, the balmy weather brought out THOUSANDS of people on this day, and it was so fun and enthusiastic and great, that phrase "Only in Minnesota" kept coming to mind as this was its definition.

Kites of all shapes and sizes soared over the ice on the lake ...and if I'm honest, I was a little concerned at how warm it felt. Families were having actual picnics on the ice! Could the ice be THAT thick? To hold thousand of people, buildings, trucks ... and I guess the answer is yes, but there were some slushy spots. Anyway, all was well. Better than well, it was awesome.

A giant fish was among my favorite kites, but they were all great ...

The Art Shanties were jam-packed on this day, and all of them had long lines outside to get in. I was happy I'd seen the most of it the week prior at my leisure, but no one seemed to mind the waits as it was so nice and cheery out, with something cool to see everywhere you looked.

A pretend polar bear was making the rounds ...

There were tightly contested sled races ...

There were arty performances that took peoples' attention away from the bright kites in the sky ...

... but only for a moment, because there was just something so lovely about seeing kites high in the sky against the stark white winter palette. I met my longtime friend, Rebecca, out on the ice and we just hugged so tight at how great it all was - including our friendship.

The Kite Festival (put on by the Minnesota Kite Society) was just for that day, but the great news is you can still check out the Art Shanty Projects fun for the next two weekends! And I hope you do. It is something special. You will be happy you went. And I will be too, because that means that wonderful events like this get to keep on being a thing, and we all get to keep warming our hearts in the midst of winter.


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