For purists there’s no alternative to constructing your own kite. “You have the satisfaction of saying ‘I did it myself,'” says Charlie Sotich, a veteran kite enthusiast who regularly teaches kite-building classes. “Anybody can go to the store and give the owner ten or twenty dollars.”

Earlier this month Sotich, a retired engineer and a member of the Chicagoland Skyliners Kite Club, showed the ropes to Chicago Park District arts and crafts instructors. In turn they have been helping kids (and eager adults) over the last week frame their own kites–mostly of the Charlie Brown diamond variety–out of wooden spars and paper sails.

Their creations, along with a number of stunt and trick kites, will take to the sky at the park district’s free Come Out and Fly festival. Prizes will be awarded for best design and most original kites, among other categories. The event begins at 10 AM Saturday (Sunday in case of rain) at Lincoln Park’s Cricket Hill, Montrose and the lake. For more information call 294-2490.

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photos/Bruce Powell.