The Tragic Optimist

Kite Festival 2010

Today was our neighborhood’s annual kite festival.  It’s one of my favorite of the winter festivals and it at the lake that’s just a few blocks from our house.  There’s something wonderfully crazy about saying to the elements, “all right, it’s cold – bitter cold – and so the lake is frozen solid.  We could stay home and snuggle under blankeys, but instead, we’re going out and we’re going to celebrate that frozen lake and fly kites in the wintery wind!”  (click on any of the pictures to see larger versions).

the kite festival on Lake Harriet

It was extremely cold this morning, but had warmed up to 0° F (that’s -18° C for my Celsius-loving friends) by the time we got to the lake early in the afternoon.  Still, the extreme cold means that the sky is a very beautiful clear blue.  Walking up we saw lots of people scattered across the ice and little brightly colored  specs in the air, and one huge teddy bear kite.

the huge teddy bear kite was a big hit

This year, Chris’s dad picked up a kite for us to try to fly.

our fish kite

the fish kite

flying the kite

Zoe tries to get the kite

helping dad with the kite

against the very clear, very blue sky

The have a warming tent on the ice too where kids can try ice fishing, and learn about the local fish in our lake.

Zoe tries her hand at ice fishing. She didn't catch anything, but one kid did catch a small fish while we were there (they threw it back).

Back on the shore, they had hot cocoa, hot cider, marshmallows for roasting, and horse-drawn wagon rides.

roasting marshmallows

Zoe was a big fan of the marshmallow.

the horses pulling the wagon. They had heavy, warm blankets in the wagon to snuggle under.

We really had a great time this year.  I couldn’t stop looking back at all the kites.  I just love the bright colors against the cold blues and whites that dominate the winter landscape.

our kite is on the right side in the middle

kites over the bandshell as we walked away to our car

one last look at the teddy bear kite through the windows of the bandshell


  1. geeksinrome

    what a great tradition!! Love that teddy bear and the tiny fishing hole.
    Hope it warms up sooooon!

  2. Beautiful! I hope your toes have warmed up.

  3. That is too awesome! I love how folks who live in the freezing cold can embrace it like that. Growing up in southeast Michigan, we were cold, but not cold enough to be b@d@sses about it. 🙂

  4. It’s so beautiful! I swear these pictures look like the most picturesque parts of the U.S. What a slice of Americana! I’m totally not a fan of the cold but when bolstered by the promise of some sunshine and some hot chocolate I’d feel differently!

  5. Oh, how fun!! I can’t remember the last time I flew a kite but I remember having so much fun.

    It sounds like a wonderful festival. I mean, how to you beat kite flying and ice fishing?

  6. Wow! That is really so very neat, thanks for sharing the adventure and the pictures. I loved your fish kite and the thought of wagon rides underneath blankets, hot cocoa and roasted marshmallows sounds wonderful. I love that the celebration of life triumphed over the biting cold!


  1. pictures! « The Tragic Optimist

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