COLUMBIA — About 50 kite enthusiasts came out Sunday morning to Cosmo-Bethel Park to fly kites for One Sky, One World Day, with more people coming in later.
The annual event attracts kite fliers from all over Missouri and has been held at the same park for six years. This year, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., people slowly trickled out to the park, and as the day progressed, the field began to fill up with families flying and admiring kites.
Bonnie Heimericks, a member of the Riverbreeze Kite Club from Jefferson City, remarked on the nice weather.
"Perfect year for it, especially with the breeze off the lake is very cool," Heimericks said.
Heimericks spent the morning teaching her son Logan how to fly a dual-line kite for the first time. The Heimericks' triangular kite has about 50 feet of string with separate handles for both lines, giving the flyer more control of the kite.
"It's hard because you have to keep control of both lines," said Logan. Heimericks said Logan has been coming to these events since he was born.
Heimericks' husband, Andy, who is also a member of the kite club, set up ground displays, which are banners that indicate wind direction. He made most of them himself. The banners resembled flags on flexible poles of various heights that rippled in the wind.
The majority of the banners were images of animals, including many of penguins. Another featured a gorilla's face and one pole had a string of three pandas. A few banners displayed color patterns of red, white and blue.
Donna Houchins, a member of the Gateway Kite Club in St. Louis, put up similar banners, including a large Gateway Kite Club banner that she set up. She made the banners herself, and the Gateway banner was so large it filled the sun room of her house. Houchins also makes her own kites, including a white quad-line kite shaped like a Ford Mustang.
"Good wind today, so we ought to be able to get a lot of stuff up," said Houchins. "It was pretty light last year." She has been coming to this event since it started.
Steve Batliner from the Kansas City Kite Club is another annual attendee to the One Sky, One World event in Columbia. He has been coming for the past five or six years. Batliner flew a red, white and blue, dual-line sport kite with a long tail.
As more kite admirers flocked to the field, Batliner took a break from flying his kite to offer his extra kites to onlookers. Batliner pulled his car up to the field and opened his trunk, which was full of about 40 kites.
Many people came out to the park specifically for the event and others joined as they strolled through the park. By midday, the field had so many kite fliers they had to spread out in order to avoid being tangled in each other's strings.
Columbia isn't the only place where people meet to fly kites every year. The 26th annual "One Sky, One World" event was held Sunday in Denver and other cities around the world.
Bonnie Heimericks said she enjoyed knowing she was flying her kite in Columbia at the same time people across the world were flying their kites as well.