By Matt Mueller Culture Editor Published May 29, 2024 at 5:01 PM

The Great Milwaukee Summer is HERE! Your guide to what you'll be doing, where you'll be drinking, who you'll be hearing and how you'll be getting a sweet tan this summer is on OnMilwaukee. The Great Milwaukee Summer guide is brought to you by Geis Garage Doors and Peoples State Bank

Even with gadgets that can take us anywhere and cool fancy toys that can do anything, there’s still a sense of timeless wonder and magic about kites. Technology can do mesmerizing and marvelous things, but there’s something to the analog joy of such simple elements – a string, some fabric and a breeze – pulling off the freeing miracle of flight.

"I think kites are one of those things that everybody’s fascinated with,” said Scott Fisher, owner of Gift of Wings aviation store. “We all flew kites as a kid, and some people went on and didn’t fly kites again for a long time – until, all of a sudden, somebody put a kite in their hand and that thrill of flying your first kite came back.”

Fisher will once again bring that thrilling sensation back to locals young and old this weekend with the return of the Outta Site Kite Flight, taking to the sky above Kennedy Park in Kenosha on Saturday, June 1 and Sunday, June 2 from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. 

Outta Site Kite FlightX

In addition to food, beverage and dessert for purchase in the area, this year’s annual aerial extravaganza will invade the clouds above 4051 5th Avenue with several special events and demonstrations – starting, as is tradition, with the grand launch. Taking off at noon on the first day, the grand launch features hundreds upon hundreds of kites, from the classic to the complex, all taking to the sky at the same time. The soundtrack to this majestic moment? “Let’s Go Fly a Kite” from “Mary Poppins,” of course. 

For even more advanced aerodynamic entertainment, the Outta Site Kite Flight will also feature several performances from professional teams – including Midwest kite-flying crew Fire & Ice as well as Amy and Connie Doran of "America's Got Talent" fame. 

Joining them in the sky at the 2024 Outta Site Kite Flight will be local pro kite flyer Paul Koepke, as well as some Canadian kite connoisseurs including Jean Lemire and Alex Daganais & The Canadian Dream Team – the latter of which will transform the great blue sky into the deep blue sea with gigantic whale, trilobite and shark kite creations soaring above the park. 

As for flying one’s own cloud-scraping kite, attendees can bring their own kites to the festival or they can purchase one on site from the Gift of Wings shop found in the park. (The first 100 kids who participate in the festival's Kids Mad Dash – a mini-grand launch of sorts – will also score a free kite for their flying fun.) The event overall will feature everything from classic kites to giant ones shaped like octopi and other oddball flying figures taking to the sky, along with lessons for those brand new to the hobby as well as those wanting to hone their wind-catching capabilities.

However, no matter whether you’re an expert or an amateur, young or young at heart, the true star attraction of the Outta Site Kite Flight is the mere act of flying a kite itself.

“It’s relaxing,” Fisher said. “You can go into a park and put a nice kite up into the air. It doesn’t matter how big it is or if it’s shaped like an octopus; it flies. And that’s magical. You sit in the grass, hold a string and it’s relaxing.”

And in these crazy hustling and bustling times, who could pass up such a moment of sky-high serenity – even coming courtesy of a flying sea monster.

Octopus kiteX

For more information on the Outta Site Kite Flight, visit Gift of Wings' website or the event's Facebook page – and for more summer festival information, click here

Matt Mueller Culture Editor

As much as it is a gigantic cliché to say that one has always had a passion for film, Matt Mueller has always had a passion for film. Whether it was bringing in the latest movie reviews for his first grade show-and-tell or writing film reviews for the St. Norbert College Times as a high school student, Matt is way too obsessed with movies for his own good.

When he's not writing about the latest blockbuster or talking much too glowingly about "Piranha 3D," Matt can probably be found watching literally any sport (minus cricket) or working at - get this - a local movie theater. Or watching a movie. Yeah, he's probably watching a movie.