2016-05-13 / Community

A Window on the Past

Kites will delight at May 21 festival
By Kathryn Onos DiPhilippo
South Portland Historical Society

The Bug Light Kite Festival will be held Saturday, May 21. In case of rain, check the South Portland Historical Society’s Facebook page. (Courtesy photo) The Bug Light Kite Festival will be held Saturday, May 21. In case of rain, check the South Portland Historical Society’s Facebook page. (Courtesy photo) The annual Bug Light Kite Festival is here again. This fun, free, family festival is hosted by South Portland Historical Society and will take place 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, May 21 at Bug Light Park. The day begins at 10 a.m. when the museum and gift shop open; a large variety of kites are always offered for sale in the gift shop. We stock fun, easy kites that come in all shapes and sizes – chickens and sheep and cows, oh my! For the best selection, arrive early. In fact, the kites are already in stock in the gift shop, so feel free to drop in any day before the kite festival (the museum is now open daily, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.) to be able to browse at a more leisurely pace. In addition to traditional kites, we also carry a line of “fish sticks,” handheld kites on a stick that are perfect for young children to walk with or hold in their stroller so that they can also feel a part of the day.

The festival officially starts at 11 a.m. when members of the NorEasters Kite Club and Kites Over New England (KONE) offer a tremendous display of their best kites; some of which are enormous kites that can only be flown at a place like Bug Light Park, where the winds are always breezy and there are no power lines to get kite lines tangled.

In addition to the show of fanciful and whimsical kites throughout the day, there are additional activities at various times, including bol racing for all ages (with parachute-type kites) and a candy drop for the kids (when a member of the kite club will send up candy in a kite with a trap door).

While the historical society keeps the festival free from admission charges, board members and other volunteers do offer a fundraiser barbecue that opens at 11 a.m. When you buy hamburgers, veggie burgers, sausage sandwiches, hot dogs, french fries, and drinks, all proceeds go to support the museum in the park. We will also be joined by the Love Kupcakes food truck this year for some tasty dessert choices.

We are again anticipating record attendance this year; we want to see happy and smiling faces! Here are some tips to help you enjoy this year’s festival:

 Plan to walk, if you are able. There is not enough parking within Bug Light Park to accommodate everyone. Please be considerate of our friends and neighbors who have handicap-accessibility needs and allow them to park in the spaces close to the activities. Please plan to either walk/bike to the park or park at Southern Maine Community College, or the Allagash building on Madison Street and walk from there to the park. It’s only a 5 minute walk from SMCC. If you arrive with the expectation of walking, you won’t have to deal with traffic or parking issues and can enjoy the day to its fullest. Enjoy the outdoors and walk down the Greenbelt with your neighbors.

 Please use restroom facilities before you arrive. We are very grateful to the city of South Portland for providing restroom facilities in the park this year, but with this many people, there will be lines.

 Plan to bring a little money. Yes, the festival is

free, but please support the historical society with your kite purchases, plan to grab something to eat at the fundraiser barbecue, or a drop a donation in the museum to make sure we can continue offering this festival – and don’t forget the Rotary Club, which will open Bug Light for tours. They will have a donation bucket to help fund maintenance of the lighthouse.

 Consider becoming a member of the South Portland Historical Society (or renew your membership). The historical society offers many programs, events and services to the public with little or no charge, but what we do is largely made possible by current and former residents of South Portland who appreciate what we do. Memberships start at $15 ($10 for seniors) and $25 for families. Drop by the museum to sign up or renew your membership, or give us a call at 767-7299 with your credit card.

 The rain date for the Bug Light Kite Festival is the following day. In the case of questionable whether, check the South Portland Historical Society page on Facebook for information, or call the museum at 767-7299.

Otto Pizza fundraiser

On Tuesday, May 17, from 5 to 9 p.m., Otto Pizza will donate a percentage of all proceeds made at the 159 Cottage Road, South Portland location, to the South Portland Historical Society. This includes all sales that are made between 5 and 9 p.m., including take out, delivery or dine in. Hope to see you there!

Kathryn Onos DiPhilippo is executive director of South Portland Historical Society.

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