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High Flying Action This Weekend

Published: May 09, 2017

KITES AND POLE VAULTERS WILL SOAR SATURDAY

Nagao Asian Kite

Eugene, OR — The Pac-12 Track & Field Championships shift to Hayward Field following the multi-events last weekend in Corvallis. Come and see the nation's best as they run, jump and throw in an attempt to win the championship and move onto the NCAA Track Championships at Hayward Field June 7-10.  

For an engaging and entertaining experience, come see the colorful​ ​kites​​ ​take​ ​to​ ​the​ ​skies​ ​for​ ​the​ ​annual​ ​Asian​ ​Kite​ ​Festival this ​Saturday,​ ​May​ ​13​ ​from​ ​noon​ ​until​ ​4:00​ ​p.m.​ ​at​ ​the​ ​Yujin​ ​Gakuen​ ​Japanese Immersion​ ​School​ ​located​ ​at​ ​250​ ​Silver​ ​Lane,​ ​Eugene.​ ​The​ ​event​ ​is​ ​free​ ​and​ ​open​ ​to​ ​all ages​ ​to​ ​participate. 

The​ ​Eugene/Springfield​ ​Asian​ ​Council​ ​and​ ​Yujin​ ​Gakuen​ ​present​ ​an​ ​afternoon​ ​of kite-flying​ ​competitions,​ ​kite-making​ ​classes,​ ​taiko​ ​drumming,​ performances​ ​by​ ​the​ ​Chinese​ ​lion​ dancers, ​Yujin​ ​Gakuen​ ​singers,​ ​Iron​ ​Mango​ ​Orchestra​ ​(ukulele), and Eugene Chinese School, The festival also includes hands-on​ craft​ ​activities​ ​such​ ​as​ making a carp streamer known as a “​koinobori” courtesy​ ​of​ ​River​ ​Road​ ​Park’s Art​ ​Bus.​ ​​ ​Favorite Japanese treats, including “Mochi,​” ​​will​ ​also​ ​be available.

Festival attendees, who arrive without a kite and wish to enter the kite -flying competitions,​ ​can​ ​make​ ​their​ ​own​ ​Asian​ ​fighter​ ​kite​ ​for​ ​$3,​ ​which​ ​covers​ ​the​ ​cost​ ​of materials.​ ​The​ ​kite​ ​competition​ ​will​ ​award​ ​prizes​ ​to​ ​participants​ ​in​ ​several​ ​categories, including​ ​highest​ ​flying,​ ​lowest​ ​flying,​ ​most​ ​artistic,​ ​most​ ​original,​ ​and​ ​crazy​ ​looking.  

“All​ ​ages​ ​are​ ​welcome​ ​to​ ​make​ ​an​ ​Asian​ ​fighter​ ​kite​ ​in​ ​the​ ​class.​ ​The​ ​design​ ​is​ ​based​ ​on a​ ​light​ ​weight​ ​Asian​ ​fighter​ ​kite​ ​designed​ ​to​ ​fly​ ​in​ ​winds​ ​as​ ​low​ ​as​ ​one​ ​mile​ ​per​ ​hour,” says​ ​Ken​ ​Nagao,​ ​a​ ​founder​ ​of​ ​the​ ​Asian​ ​Kite​ ​Festival​ ​and​ ​kite​ ​enthusiast.​ ​ The​ ​kite​ –making kits were ​originally​ ​designed​ ​by​ ​Indonesian​ ​Fighting Kite​ ​Designers​ ​Jan​ ​Steevenz​ ​and​ ​Maurice​ ​de​ ​la​ ​Rambelje,​ ​who​ ​are​ ​now​ ​deceased, but were involved in the early years of the festival in Eugene.

I​ ​have​ ​seen​ ​them​ ​fly​ ​their​ ​kites​ ​indoors​ ​(no​ ​wind);​ ​​ ​therefore,​ ​we​ ​expect​ ​to​ ​see​ ​all​ ​of​ ​the​ ​kites take flight regardless of wind conditions,” Nagao said.

Nagao​ ​will have​ ​a​ ​number​ ​of​ ​his​ ​Asian​ ​kites​ ​on​ ​display,​ ​most​ ​of​ ​which​ ​he​ ​made​ ​himself,​ ​including his​ ​latest​ ​creation,​ ​a​ ​5 ft.​ ​x​ ​11 ft.​ ​kite​ ​​depicting​ ​the​ ​castle​ ​built​ ​by​ ​the​ ​Nagao​ ​Clan​ ​on Kasugayama​ ​(Spring​ ​Day​ ​Mountain)​ ​in​ ​Joetsu,​ ​Niigata​ ​Prefecture,​ ​Japan.​ ​“It​ ​was destroyed​ ​when​ ​the​ ​Meiji​ ​took​ ​over​, ​but​ ​the​ ​moat​ ​is​ ​still​ ​intact​ ​–​ ​now​ ​called​ ​Nagao​ ​Castle Park,”​ ​Nagao​ ​said. 

Festival Contact: ​
David​ ​Tam,​ ​Event​ ​Chair, ​​(541)​ ​​554-9350 
Ken Nagao, Asian Kite Festival Founder, (541) 687-9600, ken@nagaopacific.com

Author: Andy Vobora

Vice-President of Stakeholder Relations, Travel Lane County
541.743.8770; 800.547.5445

Andy@EugeneCascadesCoast.org

Travel Lane County markets and promotes the Eugene, Cascades and Coast region as a destination for travel, conventions, sports, meetings and events. It serves as a private, nonprofit association dedicated to economic development through visitor spending, which pumped more than $672 million into Lane County, Oregon's economy in 2016. EugeneCascadesCoast.org