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Kite Festival encourages kids, families to get outdoors
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Deneen Proctor helps her son Forrest Johnson assemble his kite, compliments of the Knights of Columbus at the kite festival in 2014. - photo by Journal file photo

The Knights of Columbus are taking a tip from "Mary Poppins" and encouraging local families to fly kites together. The Knights are turning their 4th annual Time to Fly Kite Festival into a Week of the Child celebration this year with a host of family-friendly activities.

"This one encompasses family, community and youth," said event organizer Julio Valadez." It brings out the kids from the indoors. It's the first main spring event to get the kids out from playing video games and exercising by chasing kites without them knowing they're exercising."

To further encourage kids to get out and fly a kite, the club is hosting a Kite Building Day open to the public from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. April 10 at the Livingston Community Center.  Supplies will be available for kids to build their own kites that can be entered into individual Kite Building Contest during the festival on April 12.  

There will also be kite building days at local Head Start centers in Livingston and Delhi.  

"We actually go to the schools to build kites with the all involves science and it's something the kids can build on their own with guidance," said Valadez. "There will be a contest for the schools, and the class that builds the most kites will receive money towards art supplies. The school that gets the most kites built will get a trophy."

The main event, however, will be held from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. April 12 at Livingston Middle School, 101 F St., in  Livingston. The landing of the Merced County Sheriff’s Huey helicopter promptly at 9 a.m. will kick off the festivities. The event will also feature giant kite flying demonstrations by Brian Champie, George Halpin, Mike North, the Macias Brothers and others; kite making workshops for all ages; kite building contests; and the Jim Strealy Memorial Sugar-Free Candy Drop, where a giant kite is flown and candy is dropped from it.  

Other activities for all to enjoy will include the Livingston Rotary Club Pie Eating contest, face painting, bounce houses, crafts, and informational vendor booths, safety demonstrations from PG&E, Livingston Police and Fire, CHP and Merced County Sheriff's.  

For more information about the festival, visit