Chances are you won't need to go to the beach to get your kite into the air on Saturday. March has come in like a lion, as the saying goes, and local winds are certainly conducive to launching all kinds of kites into the air.
Latrell Chambers of …
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Latrell Chambers of Sumter County Recreation Department said the weather forecast "looks perfect for our annual kite-flying contest" set for 10 a.m. to about noon at Patriot Park's Soccer Complex-Field 6.
"It's a fun event we love having each year," she said. "The rules and categories are the same as past contests, but this year we're moving to Patriot Park."
Contestants can register at the park beginning at 10 a.m. and can then participate in as many of the individual competitions as they're eligible for, Chambers said.
"We love to see homemade kites," Chambers said, "but store-bought kites are eligible. There are requirements that all of the participants must meet."
These rules are that each kite must be registered; each kite must stay in the air for at least one minute; and each participant can enter only one kite per event.
Winners in each contest will receive ribbons, Chambers said, and winners of best homemade kite, youngest participant and best in show will receive trophies.
If you'd like to try your hand at making a simple paper kite, visit http://bit.ly/2HrVkgC.
There is no charge to enter, and refreshments will be served.
BIKE SAFETY COURSE
An important part of the day's events is the SAFE KIDS Bike Safety program. Cheryl Jackson of SAFE KIDS Sumter County said the purpose of the program is to teach kids how to stay safe when riding their bikes, especially in public areas.
For their bike rodeo, "We set up a special 'obstacle' course with (street) signs, like stop signs and turn signs," she said, "and we teach the kids how to give proper hand turn signals, general safety rules and the importance of helmet safety."
Jackson said "a lot of kids don't use helmets like they should. Some people don't think they need helmets when riding a bike."
No registration for the SAFE KIDS Bike Safety is required, she said. "Just bring your bike and helmet" to the 11 a.m. event at Patriot Park on General Drive, located off Patriot Parkway.
The kite-flying competition and the Bike Safety program are sponsored by Sumter County, the Salvation Army Boys & Girls Clubs, SAFE KIDS and the Tuomey Foundation. There is no charge for either. For more information, call Sumter County Recreation Department at (803) 436-2248 or SAFE KIDS Sumter County at (803) 774-8822.
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