April is kite month and the Ravalli County Museum is having a free kite building and flying workshop on Saturday.
This year’s event will include what’s been reported to be the world’s largest production windsock.
Tamar Stanley, executive director, said last year’s kite event was a success.
“Everyone enjoyed it so we’re doing it again,” Stanley said. “This is a day when we invite everyone to come build model kites.”
The activity is part of the museum’s Learning Adventure Series with a focus on STEAM activities, which includes science, technology, engineering, arts and math.
“Everyone will learn the aerodynamics, physics and geometry about making a kite,” Stanley said. “Everyone can create a kite to take home. We will provide all of the kite-making supplies and helpers to assist in the building. They can color or paint it and we’ll provide an opportunity to fly the kites and test them out.”
Stevensville residents Bruce and Beth DeFoor will bring world’s largest production windsock to the museum event.
The couple has been flying kites for 30 years. They were members of the American Kitefliers Association, a nonprofit organization dedicated to sharing kite flying with the world. Bruce DeFoor recommends the website of the American Kitefliers Association for kite information, kite.org.
“I’ve always been interested in wind power and I used to fly hang-gliders,” Bruce DeFoor said. “There are two-line stunt kites shaped like hang gliders and I was naturally drawn to them. There are one, two, three and four line kites, but single line kites are my favorite. I also love to do anything with a sail – like sail boating.”
The DeFoors retired from their university jobs in New Mexico and moved to Stevensville nearly three years ago. They are painting here and giving private art lessons.
“We have hundreds of kites and we’ll bring six or so to Saturday’s event,” said Bruce. “We’ll bring the world’s largest production windsock. People have custom-made windsocks that are larger but this is the biggest factory-produced windsock. It is 88 feet long and the mouth is 13 feet tall. They advertised it saying you can drive a minivan through it.”
Bruce said the windsock is too big to fly in town so it will be set up on the lawn of the museum for children to go through.
“We’ll call it a time tunnel because you go in one end and come out the other at a different time,” he said. “It’s a great ground toy and kids love it.”
The DeFoors will also bring miniature kites and a giant kite called Ollie the Octopus.
“He is 90 feet and his eyeball is taller than I am,” Bruce said. “We’ll do a kite festival in the valley sometime.”
Attend the free kite-making activity at the Ravalli County Museum 10 a.m. to noon on April 30.
“People can drop in anytime,” Stanley said. “Come as you are, leave when you want. It’s a great family activity. I remember parents having a ball with their children and their kites last year. It was raining, but it didn’t matter. Everyone had a blast.”
The Ravalli County Museum is located at 205 Bedford St. in Hamilton. For more information, call 406-363-3338 or online visit ravallimuseum.org.