Erika Howsare, the mother of Elsie talks about the Rockfish Valley Foundation kite festival :

Family events in Nellysford are somewhat rare, so my husband and I were excited to see the Kite Festival on the calendar April 15. We looked forward to taking our one-and-a-half-year-old daughter, Elsie, who knows what a kite is, but mostly from books.

When we arrived at the big open field, a steady stream of cars was flowing into the gate, most of them containing kids of various ages. The three of us made our way (at toddler pace) toward the line of exhibitors–face painters, food vendors and a main attraction: the table where free paper kites were being given out to kids. Amid an enthusiastic crowd of young artists, Elsie grabbed a crayon and made a few marks on her kite before friendly volunteers helped us cut, fold and tape it into good flying shape.

It was hot, so we headed for the shade at the edge of the field. From this vantage point we could see dozens of the white paper kites lifting up into the spring sky. Even with professional kite flyers showing off their skills, I found myself watching kids. Two boys about 8 years old worked together to get their kite aloft, with one running and the other flinging the kite upwards. Another girl, about 11, worked intently by herself in a corner of the field, trying over and over.

Eventually we ventured with Elsie back out into the sun and showed her what to do. With her dad providing some muscle on the kite end, she held onto the handle. A perfectly timed breeze arrived, and her kite lifted off! Big smile as she watched it hover and play a good 15 feet off the ground. Not bad for someone shy of her second birthday, and a worthy end to our day at the Kite Festival. We’ll be back!