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Charlotte Amalie
Saturday, February 24, 2024
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VI/PR Friendship Takes to the Sky

Y'Zell Bengoa, 7, runs to get his kite off the ground.Kites, a sure sign of spring, could be seen Saturday flying over the Basilo Felix Ballpark on Castle Coakley Road at the Armapavie Sports Club.

Kids and adults were running across the ball field chortling with glee, trying to get the kites airborne and keep them up. About two dozen people, young and old, turned out to make and fly kites at a workshop hosted by the Virgin Islands-Puerto Rico Friendship Committee.

Domitila Vargas, spokesperson for the committee, said the group is gearing up for the 50th anniversary celebration of the organization and are holding monthly activities such as the traditional spring kite flying.

“In Puerto Rico it’s a tradition to fly kites in the Lenten winds, which are strong,” Vargas said.

Jubal Sargeant, local kite master, said he grew up down island where flying kites at Easter is a big thing. He was helping children and adults make basic kites with balsa wood dowels, light-weight wrapping paper, plastic ribbon tails, and string. The youngest kite makers got a packaged plastic Spiderman kite.

Local kite master Jubal Sargeant ties a string for Jeremy Peguero.Jeremy Peguero, 11, said he didn’t know what went into kite making and how easy it was to do. He found out on his first test flight he needed a longer tail – then he had some success.

“It’s been fun making the kite,” he said.

Ana Martinez, vice president of the committee, said that years ago the Hispanos Unidos organization had a kite festival, but it went by the wayside. The committee decided to bring back the tradition. She said, in fact, Sargeant had proposed bringing back the tradition.

Martinez and Sargeant agreed kite flying is a great way to get kids outside and running around. Martinez added the parents really got involved with their children in the project.

The committee will host its first Color the Sky Kite Festival from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. April 27 at the University of the Virgin Islands campus on St. Croix. There will be master kite makers offering tips and techniques on flying and handling skills. Competitions will be held in different categories and prizes awarded. Kites will be judged on launching, retrieval, aesthetics, construction and design.

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