Galt Area Historical Society mounted its second combination of Kite Day and Eggstravaganza on April 1, bringing springtime fun to McFarland Living History Ranch.
Families brought out kites of all shapes in the clear, sunny weather, and large kites that looked like manta rays and king cobras flew high in the air. A specially designed kite was used to drop candy for children to collect.
Rows of vendors offered their wares around the ranch house, which was open for tours with historical society docents. Kids and adults competed in a pie-eating contest.
Bringing in the Eggstravaganza element, youth volunteers distributed plastic eggs around the property for children to discover.
In an egg drop, children brought their creativity to bear, building the best container to keep a raw egg intact when dropped from the top of a Cosumnes Fire Department ladder truck. Many participants attached parachutes to their containers, while others padded the inside of shoebox, or surrounded the container in balloons. One parachuted entry snagged on one of the fire truck’s antennas.
It was a successful egg drop with many uncracked eggs, and the winners went home with fun prizes.
Tony Jetland, who has been flying big kites for 23 years, launched various kites to put “smiles on the kids’ faces.” He knows members of Central Valley Kite Flyers, which along with Old City Kites provided the giant kites.
The kites get to impressive sizes and can’t be held by hand; instead, they are tethered to stakes in the ground. Jetland also launched a “stack in a bag,” a set of smaller kites attached to the same string. On the end of the string was the “one that started it all,” a 2-square-meter kite.
“I thought it was huge,” Jetland said. “Now I’m flying kites that are 110, 120 square meters, which is about 1,200 square feet, about the size of my house.”
Graduating to these giant kites has gotten him nicknamed the “kite man of Martinez” and allowed him to travel to international kite festivals, like a recent one in Qatar.
Jetland said he would have liked to get more wind but made the best of it.
“You want to please people inside. You know what I mean? I want to make people happy. … But when they did the candy drop and the kids were smiling and nobody got hurt, it’s a good day.”
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