Local kites dominate this year

Stabroek News
April 14, 1998

Guyanese yesterday occupied all the empty spaces available to ensure they got the opportunity to fly their kites, although there were some who just relaxed and enjoyed the breeze.

Thousands of kites of different shapes, styles and sizes were seen in the air. This year the popular bird kite was not as evident as in recent years.

Most persons used the locally-made kites, because, as one man explained, the locally-made kites last longer, while the imported ones usually last only one day.

Along the East Coast from Atlantic Ville to Liliendaal, many persons erected makeshift tents to spare themselves the punishment of the El Nino heat.

Some of the main roads were blocked, with police directing traffic, in order to accommodate the kite-flyers in Georgetown.

There were those who declined to fly kites altogether, and went to Bourda instead to watch cricket. Some of the usually busy kite-flying areas were not as crowded this year, although according to those to whom Stabroek News spoke, cricket was not responsible for this. Some said that there were many activities going on in different parts of the city, creating a "competitive atmosphere".

Cricket normally attracted "its own crowd," they said, although some fathers confessed that they would have preferred to be seated at the cricket ground; Easter Monday was "a children's day," they said.

Vendors selling many types of goodies and beverages were seen wherever the crowds were located, while there were still some optimistic persons selling kites as late as yesterday afternoon.

Many picnickers, including children, took up their positions and set up tents on the outskirts of the city because, they said, they wanted to escape the commotion in the city.

On the seawall at the popular Bandstand, the Demerara Distillers Lmimited (DDL) hosted the Pepsi super kite flying competition, which was judged in the three categories of samll, medium and large.

Kites as small as half of an inch and as large as 10ft participated in the competition. The winner of each category was to receive $15,000 cash and $15,000 worth of DDL products. The second and third place winners were also to be awarded prizes.

All the kites in the competition were required to carry the word `Pepsi'.

At the University of Guyana compound there was a grand fun day where there was a merry go-round and other popular games.

When Stabroek News visited the ground the crowd was not very large, but as one student explained, most of the tickets sold were to young people, "and you know we young people don't like walking in the sun." The student said that they were expecting the ground to be packed when the sun went down since they also held a night session.

In the National Park, as was expected, the crowd was large, with persons of all ages in evidence. Picnickers were located as far away as the outskirts of the park.

The attraction was not necessarily kite-flying, since some were more interested in games like cricket, rounders, or chic-chic. Others were contented to sit and chat, or gyrate to the music blaring from stereo sounds and tape recorders.

Congress Place in Sophia also had a grand fun day. Again, there was a small turn-out during the day, although it was thought that many persons would come out in the afternoon, since they were also holding a night session.

The seawall stole the show; persons were there as early as 8:am in order to occupy the best spots. It was there one could have seen all the different kites, with some little tots struggling with kites too large for them to control.

The stereo sounds on the seawall were plentiful, all playing their own tunes and having their own supporters. The bars and the stalls were also to numerous to count.

Although the radio and televisions stations always warn parents to deter their children from flying kites near electric wires, this year, as in previous ones, kite-flyers were seen flying their kite in the vicinity of electric wires.