Though nowadays it is mostly regarded as an outdoor toy for children, the kite has an interesting history. The original was constructed from silk and bamboo approximately 2,800 years ago in China (though some argue that, based on cave drawings, Indonesia beat them to it with a leaf version—kite controversy!). During the Middle Ages kites were used to display military banners. Then in 1750 the kite hit reached a new high point when Benjamin Franklin used one to prove his theory of electricity. Kiting even had a golden age from 1860 to about 1910 when kites were frequently were used as a tool in science experiments, photography, and even war. Today at the Lake Harriet Kite Festival, guests will be invited to enjoy the more recreational aspects of the kite. Bring your own or purchase one onsite. Those having trouble taking flight can get advice from Minnesota Kite Society experts. Other activities for families include ice-fishing demonstrations for kids, horse-drawn wagon rides, snowshoeing, and a medallion hunt. Stop by the marshmallow roast to warm up. In case of extreme weather or poor ice conditions, the event will be moved to January 17, so be sure to call the hotline at 612.370.4948 before heading out. (Photo by Creeper-Sleeper)
Sat., Jan. 9, 12-4 p.m., 2010
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