The exact date and origin of the kite is not known but it is believed that they were flown in China more than 2,000 years ago. Courtesy photo
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City of San Marcos invites you to ‘go fly a kite’

SAN MARCOS — If you’ve ever been told to “go fly a kite,” and not acted on it, consider attending the San Marcos Historical Society’s sponsored “Celebration of Kites” on March 30.

The event, also sponsored by the San Marcos Community Foundation, will be in Heritage Park from 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. and everyone is welcome from young to old.

The family-oriented event for the North County community is free of charge. Please note the event will be rescheduled if it is raining on March 30.

It’s a good time to fly a kite, too, since National Kite Flying Month runs April 1 to April 30.

According to Tanis Brown of the San Marcos Historical Society, this is the first kite event for the San Marcos Historical Society, and it hopes to attract many from the community.

“The board decided to host a themed activity once a month on a Saturday, and someone suggested a kite flying day as one of the activities,” she said. “We thought it might be fun for kids and families to construct a kite and take it out and fly it.

“We are close enough to a big open area in the park. And, it seemed that no one else locally was doing anything similar.”

Brown said this is a perfect event for someone to come and “try something new or to enjoy a day in the park.”

And you don’t have to have any experience at all, in fact, no experience is needed, she said.

“This is not a contest — it’s just for fun.”

If you don’t have a kite already and don’t want to purchase one, there will be the chance to make your own at the event, Brown said.

“We will have all materials to make a kite and fly it,” she said. “However, we may have to limit kites to no more than two per family. Kite construction will take place inside Heritage Park, and kite flying will take place in the south lawn area of the park.”

This is the third activity the historical society has hosted; in January it offered “Celebrating Family Histories,” focused around charting family trees.

“We had our genealogy teacher on hand along with samples of family tree templates,” she said. “In February we had a ‘Pioneer History’ day with woodcarving demonstrations, old-fashioned games and crafts, home tours, butter making, and apple peel snacks.”

No April activity is planned other than an Easter Egg Hunt, she said.

“Celebration of Kites is a day to get creative, try something new, and have some fun in the park,” she said. “Pray for perfect wind conditions.”

History of kites

According to the website NationalKiteMonth.org:  “the history of flight, the first lighter-than-air balloon (1783) and the first powered aircraft (1903) are very recent when compared with the age of kites.

The exact date and origin of the kite is not known but it is believed that they were flown in China more than 2,000 years ago.

One legend suggests that when a Chinese farmer tied a string to his hat to keep it from blowing away in a strong wind, the first kite was born.”

The site added the earliest written account of kite flying was “about 200 B.C. when the Chinese Gen. Han Hsin of the Han Dynasty flew a kite over the walls of a city, he was attacking to measure how far his army would have to tunnel to reach past the defenses.

Knowing this distance his troops reached the inside of the city, surprised their enemy, and were victorious. Kite flying was eventually spread by traders from China to Korea, and across Asia to India.

Each area developed a distinctive style of kite and cultural purpose for flying them.”

You can read more about the history of kites at the NationalKiteMonth.org website.