Kites take over at Sky Fest in Fort Stevenson

Local News

It’s not a bird or a plane. Instead, it’s kites taking over the skies at Fort Stevenson State Park.

Earlier this week, the summer kick-off event was in full swing and KX News was there to join in on the fun — and learn a little history behind the whole thing.

From 60 foot kites to your typical little kites, the attraction alongside Lake Sakakawea is always a sight to see.

“This festival has been going on for 28 years,” Deb Lenzen said.

Lenzen is the founder of the festival and she calls it Sky Fest.

“I had been out on the Oregon coast for a couple of summers and found festivals happening there and everybody there having such a great time, so I went to the city here and said why don’t we try something,” Lenzen said.

That something turned into an outdoor extravaganza, attracting people from all across the country.

“From Iowa, Indiana, Washington state, Oregon,” she said.

James Phillips and Pat Curtis are first-time visitors and let’s just say they were in awe by the massive display in the sky.

“We’re super excited. You see the kites? This is my first time ever seeing kites of this size,” Phillips said.

“Yeah, me too!” Curtis said.

The festival is more than just a sky gazer though.

Various vendors from food sales, kite rentals and even kite making are all a part of the fun.

“I think you’re going to keep seeing it grow and grow and there’s going to always be pictures shared on Facebook, on social media,” Lenzen said

Lenzen says she moved out of state many years ago and gave the festival responsibilities to other locals in the community, but to see what it has become so far, leaves her speechless.

“Oh…I have pride, joy, a lot of gratitude that we’re still able to enjoy and celebrate and get together,” she said.

Lenzen says in nearly 30 years of hosting the festival, they’ve never had to cancel it until last year due to COVID-19.

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