Perry Farm

Invites, discussion and general information about IKE Club Fly events and quick flys.
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Knoted4ever
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Re: Perry Farm

Postby Knoted4ever » Sat, Jan 06 2007, 08:53 PM

Regarding Invis' comment that "the bulk of the expence of this festival has been spent on catering to the competitors." ... i remember that very few people were actually watching the competitions at all. Most of the youth were flying... and were mostly indifferent regarding what was going on with the competitions. It was mostly myself and a small handful of other people (other than the competitors themselves) who were watching the competitions; and, speaking for myself, it was just for a limited amount of time regarding my being a mere spectator.

My guess is that if you opened up more room for people to fly... with more public flying area... there would be less competition for space or whatever :wink: ; broadcast nice music, give people more freshly cut fields... and they'll be plenty happy without the need to do better than someone else.
Tom P.
Illinois_______ (excerpt from E. E. Cummings: "How many winds make wonderful... and is luck The skeleton of life")

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stevebell
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Re: Perry Farm

Postby stevebell » Sat, Jan 06 2007, 10:41 PM

Hear me out...this is a little radical, but then again, what is this club all about???...

How about a 'Club Fly' in May or June...but on steroids?!!! With a little PR from the local press, (Denny and I know some people) maybe some posters, word-of-mouth, etc., we could just 'meet' at Perry Farm for a 'club' fly that welcomes the public. Maybe not so much a 'Park District' event as an IKE extravaganza!

If we made sure that there were no park district things happening on the flying field, like soccer team practices or games, on our date, I can't foresee any problems. It is a 'public' place, after all, right? IKE and all the kite-loving locals would just show up at Perry Farm. We might not have any 'AKA sanctioned' competitions, huge sound systems, etc., but the club alone in full force, (some BIG kites, all of our SLKs, an ongoing quad-line show, dual-line stunts and foils, (you get the idea)) could create a real 'spectacle'!!! (Our get-togethers lately have been spectacles, even though there hasn't been much of an audience to witness them!)

I don't know if there would be any problems with Dave setting up a vendor tent to sell kites...that would be more than I can answer for...but I would like to see that, too!

This all is just a thought, but I think it is worth looking into.

Any response???

Crash

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Chris
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Re: Perry Farm

Postby Chris » Sat, Jan 06 2007, 10:44 PM

Definitely something to think about! I'm in! :-D
It's a great satisfaction knowing that for a brief point in time you made a difference.

-unknown

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stevebell
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Re: Perry Farm

Postby stevebell » Sat, Jan 06 2007, 10:55 PM

Another thought...

If we were to get some PR from the Journal or the Country Market papers after the event, (an article or just some photos) it might make the Park District reconsider the annual Kite Festival's importance in their line-up.

Steve

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TheBigKiteGuy
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Re: Perry Farm

Postby TheBigKiteGuy » Sat, Jan 06 2007, 11:52 PM

stevebell wrote:Hear me out...this is a little radical, but then again, what is this club all about???...

How about a 'Club Fly' in May or June...but on steroids?!!!
...
but the club alone in full force, (some BIG kites, all of our SLKs, an ongoing quad-line show, dual-line stunts and foils, (you get the idea)) could create a real 'spectacle'!!!


If by BIG kites you mean me, my schedule is filling up. Already in May/June

Participation tentative means I have not yet confirmed my participation as once I have I don't cancel, even if an overseas trip is offered. So I nail down the big travel first.

Event tentative means the event is not yet firmed up and set in stone yet.

May 5 - 6_____Mayor Daley’s Kids and Kites____Chicago, IL (participation tentative)
May 18 – 20___Great Lakes Kite Festival_______Grand Haven, MI
May 25 – 27___Wildwood Intl Kite Festival______Wildwood, NJ
June 2 – 3_____Naperville Kite Fest___________Naperville, IL (participation tentative)
June 9 -10_____Jamestown Kite Fest__________Jamestown, ND (participation tentative)
June 23 – 24___Lincoln City Summer Kite Fest___Lincoln City, OR
June 30_______East meets West_____________New York (Event Tentative)

(sorry about the crummy formatting, I don't do BBs often and none of the bbcode formatting I tried did what I wanted it to.)

Even without Perry Farm this is a killer schedule. If Perry Farm was the 15th and 16th it could potentially mean seven weekends straight without a break. I enjoy flying big kites, but this is daunting. May/June are a tough months for me for new festivals.

I don't mean to be grumpy, but I really try not to do more than four weeks in a row. I would probably still do the 15/16th but with all of the travel and the amount of work with show kites, a seven week stretch sucks the fun out it.
Alan Sparling

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stevebell
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Re: Perry Farm

Postby stevebell » Sun, Jan 07 2007, 12:48 AM

Al,

Didn't mean to cramp your schedule...I'm just 'brain-farting' here! I'm trying to save a worthwhile local event with whatever resources we have available. The Perry Farm Kite Fest means a lot to the 'locals', (but maybe I'm talking more about the astronomy club, of which I am the founding president...we started our club in '01 at Perry Farm with the Kite Fest) and I learned to appriciate kiting here and don't want to see it forsaken. (My fist experience with sport kites...thanks Denny!!!)

Even if you can't participate with the big kites, I think a that spring/summer club fly/extravaganza at Perry Farm could be nothing but a good thing!!!

Steve

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Mike
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Re: Perry Farm

Postby Mike » Sun, Jan 07 2007, 08:13 AM

Draftnik can help us here. When are we crossing the line from club-fly to festival? The park district may want insurance, etc.
I like the idea though. If the festival dies, we should do something like that.
It would be a shame not to have the big kites Al, I but totally understand your situation.

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Babbman
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Re: Perry Farm

Postby Babbman » Sun, Jan 07 2007, 09:12 AM

Mike wrote:Draftnik can help us here. When are we crossing the line from club-fly to festival? The park district may want insurance, etc.
I like the idea though. If the festival dies, we should do something like that.
It would be a shame not to have the big kites Al, I but totally understand your situation.


I was just thinking the same thing. At some point, permits, insurance, parking, toilets, etc... will all come into play and we need to be careful that we don't cross that line.

I've been reading this thread and have been debating if I should say anything or not. I haven't been to this festival and really have no experience with a kite festival in general but I have been part of similar events....

I look at it this way. What's best for the sport in general is a well run event that draws people in. Having a variety of kiting events does a couple of things such as exposing people to what Kiting in the 2000's is all about. There is nothing wrong with competitions, big kites, kite making for kids, flying for fun, etc... it's all a part of the world of kiting today.

BUT, what is it about this particular event that is causing concern and what things can turn a successful event into a burden and a detriment?

From what I can tell, there is nothing worse for an outdoor event that is weather dependent than bad weather. For some of us, flying in or on snow is no big deal. Cold? Who cares, I wear gloves and dress in layers. Wind? Of course, wind is good but too much or too little can negate the event completely.

If the history of this event has been bad weather, then consideration has to be given to have it at a different time if the year. Of course scheduling has a lot to do with it but considering what I have read, catering to any schedule that places this event in a position of failure due to weather is self defeating and a recipe for failure which is what this seems to have become. What is better, holding a festival that leaves a bad taste in the mouth of the public and the kiting community or not having the event at all?

As for what events are included, I believe that as many aspects of kiting should be there as possible as everyone has different tastes. At the same time, there is weight that must be given to those aspects. Obviously, competition seems to be something that concerns people either with scheduling or sponsorship or money or visibility or the public turnout to watch it. Personally, I see competition being of most interest to those already exposed to the sport. Those people who are not aware of what kiting has become in general (which are those people who we should be trying to reach the hardest), are not going to be as interested. To me, public inclusion is what the festival should be about. If this part is successful, then everything else will be a success.

When I think about the few club flys I have been to, the thing that interested people into stopping and talking to us seems to have been the result of interesting kites that were sitting in the air, basically beckoning them to come see what was going on. So what does this seem to dictate? For me, drawing people in with the visual aspect of the sport has to be given more weight than competition. The same goes for things that allow people off the street to join in the fun and thrill of kiting, i.e. being able to fly different types of kites, making their own, buying a kite and flying it, having knowledgeable people around who can help turn what could be a bad experience into a thrilling experience, etc...

This is not to say that competition should be given a backseat or afterthought but in regards to making a festival successful, it is truly not the overwhelming factor and basing an event on this one aspect alone seems to have developed a history that has led us to the point we are at now.

If it comes down to scheduling of competition being the deciding factor and that schedule dictates an event that takes place at a time of year that has a history of being bad and detrimental to the event in general, then maybe there needs to be 2 festivals. One being a competition that is held when the competition community schedule permits, and another that caters to the general public during a time of better weather and includes them in as many aspects of kiting as possible.


And that's my personal point of view.... hoping not to have offended anyone...

Chris (aka Babbman)

They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety...
Benjamin Franklin, Historical Review of Pennsylvania, 1759

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Mike
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Re: Perry Farm

Postby Mike » Sun, Jan 07 2007, 09:39 AM

Babbman, I think you've got the picture just right. :up:
The park people are going to meet on Tuesday, so if anyone else has something to say, now's the time.
I sent Ann a personal email but I haven't heard back.

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Babbman
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Re: Perry Farm

Postby Babbman » Sun, Jan 07 2007, 10:17 AM

If you that are going to meet with the event organizers and sponsors want to use anything I said, please feel free...


Chris (aka Babbman)



They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety...
Benjamin Franklin, Historical Review of Pennsylvania, 1759


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Invis
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Re: Perry Farm

Postby Invis » Sun, Jan 07 2007, 10:47 AM

One of the problems with email and posting (as I do here) is that communication can easily be taken in the wrong sence. It's hard to constructivly debate issues or "think tank" an idea when you have expresion barriers of the printed word.

I have no animosity towards competitive fliers. (Someday I might attain enough talent to be one) I have shared a brew with many of you at the potluck dinner held by the park district. I've sat and looked thru your pin books and found you all to be a tight knit highly motivated group.

I play Devils advocate in order to find a solution to our delema with this event.

I can't remember if it was the first or second festival (Michelle was at the helm at the time) that the weather gods favored us with beautiful sun, light winds and 60 degrees. THAT was the BEST festival I have ever been to! The competitors were there. The Chicago Fire was there(all of you). and people attended in abundance. The vendors were happy. The night fly was fun and the Astronomy group was there most of the night.

This is what this event NEEDS to be again!

I mentioned the Olde Time Farm Show in my post above. My father and a few other guys started this event MANY moons ago. In the first few years they attracted several hundred local farmers to an 3 day event featuring restored antique farm equipment. Now, many years later, this is one of the largest events held at the Perry Farm. Thousands of people attend every year the first week in July. They fill the entire grounds and people attend from several states away.

Another event ( I believe Sarah, Nichole and Tom are responsible for this one) is "Dog Day Afternoon". Local people show up at the farm grounds with their favorite pooch in tow. Dog related vendors have booths with samples and trainers show up to give demos of their highly trained animals. This event is not a very old event yet the last few years I have enjoyed it I had to park a block away because the parking lot was full.

I believe what we are seeing in these posts is that maybe there is nothing WRONG with the kite festival. Maybe we just need better weather. If that means changing the time slot then what choice do we have? New time or no fest?
If the Dog Day Afternoon was put in our current time slot it would flop.
Most people aren't as dedicated to kites as we are and will not venture out in inclement weather to attend.

"can you here me now?"
Peace, Invis

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Chris
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Re: Perry Farm

Postby Chris » Sun, Jan 07 2007, 10:52 AM

I think Babbman nailed it perfectly! I think the competitions are important to folks within the kiting community. Last spring was my first year at Perry farms, and my first large festival (Kites Over Sycamore being my actual first fest). That being said, the public field and the folks flying there had more influence on me personally than the competition side. That being said, I did spend a couple of hours in the rain watching the competitors, marveling at what they were capable of.

I have to agree in saying that the competition side is not geared towards the public at large. It does have it's place at the event, BUT, it can be done in a way to attract novices and experts alike. If that means separate events, so be it. If we as a community cannot draw new blood into this hobby/sport, it will dry up and die!!!

Anyone who has flown RC aircraft can attest to this (Ken, feel free) that if the public is not educated and allowed to see what things are all about, the minority WILL speak for the majority. Talk to any RC club, and you will see restrictions to times they can fly, flying fields shut down, and other rules and regulations imposed by local municipalities.

As of now, as kiters, we are in an excellent position to show people what we are all about. Let's take advantage of this and do what is right for us AND the public. Like I said earlier, if we cannot draw new folks in, we won't have to argue about sport OR recreational fliers!!
It's a great satisfaction knowing that for a brief point in time you made a difference.



-unknown

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Draftnik
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Re: Perry Farm

Postby Draftnik » Sun, Jan 07 2007, 12:04 PM

I'm still on a rather steep learning curve regarding the insurance needs of a festival. I would think insurance needs could define clearly a club fly from a community fly.

I'm courious on how a park district insures a kite fest or a dog fest for that matter. Do they have event coverage of their own? Do they differentiate between insurance for the parks daily use and it's use for a festival? I mean if someone gets hurt on a weekday when there's nothing going on, is that different then if the same thing happened the day of a festival? What event insurance would do is cover the sponsors tails, I supose, and define the responsible parties. A club fly, not having any sponsors doesn't require coverage? Insurance coverage then comes in at the individual level. Either event I believe, and I'm not an insurance guru, has some location responsibilties that I suspect are in place no matter what's done to negate those responsiblities. (Mostly just thinking out loud here...not sure any of this rambling pertains to this discussion.)

On another note, I'm all for simplifing, BUT a bare bones festival still has set up, insurance, and promoting at a minimum. Promoting is a big un' and that's where we started. Airwaves success is due in large part to being well advertised in the community. Promoting is an interesting game and one that we delegated to experienced people. ALL of our promoting was like/kind donations from our sponsors. Those like/kind donations were a main vien for our festival funding. Our early sponsors went all out with what they were doing, and that effort got other sponsors to join in, and then they're combined efforts in turn got other ones. By the end, I got the sense the last of our sponsors were running to catch a train about to pull out with all the cool people on it. :) I don't know that it was nessicarily planned that way, but I do know that experineced folks are worth they're weight in gold when it comes to promoting.

So we had the promoting and sponsorship in line and then the pressure was really on to ensure that everyone was tickled pink with the festival! Ours were delighted in the festival, but it definately was a snowball effect, that gently pressured us into something more then a simple festival.

FWIW
TTFN,
Draftnik

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TheBigKiteGuy
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Re: Perry Farm

Postby TheBigKiteGuy » Sun, Jan 07 2007, 12:36 PM

An AKA affiliated club can get insurance for its club flies for a flat rate of $75 a year which covers all of its club flies. AKA affiliation without insurance is free.

info at http://www.aka.kite.org/aka_Clubs.html


Separate sanctioning is required for larger flys/festivals. The sanctioning does include insurance.

info at http://www.aka.kite.org/sanction.shtml

Both club and event insurance is subsidized by the AKA, I doubt if anyone could find comparable coverage at two or three times the price.
Alan Sparling

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Mike
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Re: Perry Farm

Postby Mike » Sun, Jan 07 2007, 12:50 PM

Our club is supposed to covered but I just checked and they never cashed the check.
Also on the form I downloaded the fee was $50 instead of $75. Maybe they just raised the rates or I somehow got an old form.

I'll look into it.

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Knoted4ever
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Re: Perry Farm

Postby Knoted4ever » Sun, Jan 07 2007, 01:11 PM

Babbman, and a number of you, had some very good/pertinent points regarding Perry Farm. i think that it would be great if we could have something for the public... to enhance their appreciation for kiting. i'm all for educating the public with regard to a sport that takes one outdoors, with minimal negative effects on the environment... one that can be as simple or as complex as one would want.

My chief concern is the insurance issue. Kids, especially if they are with adults that are half immature themselves, can do the craziest, mindless things. If a child gets a severe eye injury... and the conditions were too crowded and no insurance was available... i sure do not want to be in a position of being accused of lack of responsibility and lack of proper planning. In prior years i felt that the space for public flying at Perry Farm was atrociously too small. When the weather was good, people were on top of each other. That is not safe by any means. People were, in the good weather, having a blast; but they were like sardines; and guys were in there with them flying dual line! Each year i went to the far edges of the field, away from where people could sustain injuries. The last time, i flew near the Big kites, away from the crowds; when that field was mowed (where the Al-type Big kites fly), it was a bit more out in the open, away from the trees... and the conditions were a bit better. (By the way, if Al couldn't make it... it would be a Big disappointment to a lot of kids!)

Though it's no secret that i think that Perry Farm is at the bottom of the rung as a field suitable for tricking dual line, i think that it would be a good place for kiting festival oriented flying with basic public education in mind. But insurance issues and safety issues are very serious concerns; if they are not properly addressed, then i think it would be best to wait until a better situation arises. If you folks want to have a fly with the public invited to participate... with no premium insurance in place... that would not be prudent in the least.

In terms of a competition spot, Perry Farm will never draw in large groups of serious competitors; the place is just too mediocre and second-rate for serious flying; it's surrounded by tall trees and buildings! It would be great if the ball got rolling with Perry Farm, but i suspect that it would be better to sagaciously plan things carefully and to wait... rather than to throw together an event quickly without serious planning.
Tom P.

Illinois_______ (excerpt from E. E. Cummings: "How many winds make wonderful... and is luck The skeleton of life")

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Invis
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Re: Perry Farm

Postby Invis » Sun, Jan 07 2007, 03:09 PM

Here it is ..right form the horse's mouth ...er web page.

Accident-Injury
The Bourbonnais Township Park District does not assume responsibility for accidents or injuries at any program or on Park District property. It is recommended that participants review their personal insurance policy for coverage before participation in Park
District leisure activities.

I broke an ankle at Sleepy Hollow one year and was working at the time. My insurance paid for it.

Just like rock climbing at all the state parks in Illinois ...your on your own.

Mike knows that the last few kite fests at Perry Farm had ignorant parents helping their children fly UNDER a high power line even after we brought the peril to their attention! We were told to mind our own business.

I have heard of a few people suing the park district aftering injury on the grounds but to my knowledge nobody has been sucessful. That does not stop them from trying.

Ann? Hop in here and give us the competitors view on making this event FLY. (sorry I couldnt help myself)

Invis

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Draftnik
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Re: Perry Farm

Postby Draftnik » Sun, Jan 07 2007, 04:09 PM

Invis wrote:Here it is ..right form the horse's mouth ...er web page.

Accident-Injury
The Bourbonnais Township Park District does not assume responsibility for accidents or injuries at any program or on Park District property. It is recommended that participants review their personal insurance policy for coverage before participation in Park District leisure activities.
Invis


Well I'll be. If someone falls and breaks a leg on my sidewalk out front, I think, my home owners would kick in. Funny how that all works. What I can't make sense of, is why a public park can seem to escape blame, but a public university would ask for a 3M insurance policy :?:

Relax, Knoted :) insurance is a last line defense (in anything really). The first defense being responsible flying (or driving, or whatever). IME, insurance is a *huge* concern to sponsors and festival organizers and along with that goes all the nessicary safety precautions. <sigh> It gets lot of attention for being something I've yet to see an actual need for.
TTFN,

Draftnik

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TheBigKiteGuy
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Re: Perry Farm

Postby TheBigKiteGuy » Sun, Jan 07 2007, 06:01 PM

Draftnik wrote:
Invis wrote:Here it is ..right form the horse's mouth ...er web page.

Accident-Injury
The Bourbonnais Township Park District does not assume responsibility for accidents or injuries at any program or on Park District property. It is recommended that participants review their personal insurance policy for coverage before participation in Park District leisure activities.
Invis


Well I'll be. If someone falls and breaks a leg on my sidewalk out front, I think, my home owners would kick in. Funny how that all works. What I can't make sense of, is why a public park can seem to escape blame, but a public university would ask for a 3M insurance policy :?:

Relax, Knoted :) insurance is a last line defense (in anything really). The first defense being responsible flying (or driving, or whatever). IME, insurance is a *huge* concern to sponsors and festival organizers and along with that goes all the nessicary safety precautions. <sigh> It gets lot of attention for being something I've yet to see an actual need for.


From all of the pain the AKA board went through over insurance, I can tell you that such disclaimers are usually worthless. The injured persons lawyer will probably make short work of it.
Alan Sparling

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Re: Perry Farm

Postby Ann » Sun, Jan 07 2007, 06:35 PM

I believe that Perry Farm is a valuable festival and competition. For the most part, the trees and building don't factor into why Perry Farm has become a poor festival and competition. The years we had good weather, we had a wonderful time and great turnout. Granted, the flying is certainly not the same as flying on a pristene beach like Grand Haven, MI. But, some years our wind at Perry Farm was better than we had in Veteran's Park, right on the lake, in Milwaukee, WI. Midwest flyers were certainly at an advantage at AKA Nationals in Des Moines this year because they are so used to many different types of wind conditions.

Any outdoor event is subject to the weather. Kiting is no different. Especially when the event is planned for the early Spring. The reason Perry Farm was initially scheduled for April was to coincide with National Kite Month. I don't think we need to continue having the event in April when history has proven that April in the Midwest is not the best choice. Additionally, as I said earlier, spectators and participants alike have come to expect bad weather because of past experiences.

Competitors understand that there are parts of kiting that may not be that interesting to the public. With the proper scheduling however, a competition and kite festival can coexist successfully. We had a few festival/competitions last season where we had demos peppered throughout the competition and there was always something going on in the field. There are so many aspects of kiting that appeal to the public, and the Perry Farm site and well thought out planning can provide something for everyone.

I am all about growing the sport, and all aspects of the sport.

Ann


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