Iowa’s Premier Kite Festival on Ice
BY: RACHEL WUMKES
To commemorate National Fly a Kite Day this week, we thought it would be a great time for a bit of a hype blog about Clear Lake’s Color the Wind Kite Festival.
Just because there is snow on the ground and our gorgeous 3600-acre lake is frozen solid doesn’t mean we hibernate for the winter.
Not even close!
We are full steam ahead here at the lake.
Last weekend we welcomed rock ‘n’ roll fans from around the country to the Winter Dance Party. And now we’re gearing up to host the Midwest’s largest and most colorful winter kite festival. This fun, family event features huge inflatable kites of all kinds flown by serious kite-flyers from across the United States.
Bursts of color floating high above our frozen oasis will be displayed on Saturday, February 18th from 11am – 4pm in front of the seawall in downtown Clear Lake. This is the Chamber of Commerce’s 2nd time hosting the beloved event.
And we are SO EXCITED for you to come and see it!
Once again, we welcome Apex Wind Energy as the presenting sponsor. If ever there was a collaboration written in the stars, this would be it. What better company to sponsor Color the Wind than one who lives and breathes wind energy every single day!
In case you’re unfamiliar with them, Apex Clear Energy is “a values-driven company focused on a singular mission to deliver carbon solutions at scale.” Basically, they put up wind turbines across the country in hopes of shaping the energy transition to a cleaner, more sustainable solution. They are veteran-based out of Charlottesville, Virginia since 2009, and have projects in every part of the country.
The Indigo Project is moving right along near Sheffield in Cerro Gordo County. Not only are they building a cleaner way to sustain energy but giving back in the process. According to Public Engagement Manager, Jack Elsnes, “There will be hundreds of millions of dollars invested into Cerro Gordo County over the lifetime of this project.”
Apex Clear Energy enjoys supporting local community group. One small way they do that is by sponsoring local events like Color the Wind. Two of their team members live in Clear Lake, so they’re in it for the long haul. “Indigo Wind promises to be an active participant in the community for the lifetime of the project.”
While they harness the wind to produce electricity, we are using it to create sparks of our own!
If you’ve never seen the massive kites flying above Clear Lake, this is the year you simply must come to the event.
Main Ave in Clear Lake will be a buzz of activity throughout the entire day. Here are a few tips and tricks to enjoy you have THE MOST fun you possibly can!
- Parking can be tricky. If you arrive early, there may be street parking close enough to downtown where you can walk. Being February in Iowa, however, you don’t want to walk too far. Parking is also available off site with free shuttles running for the duration of the event. Find parking locations and information
- Wear sunglasses! Even if the sun is hidden behind the clouds, you don’t want to squint against the whiteness all day to see these vibrant kites. This is one pro tip everyone should follow – wear sunglasses!
- Dress Warm. While it may look beautiful and sunny outside, I guarantee the temperature on the frozen lake will FEEL much colder than you realize. Don’t forget the wind loves to whip straight through North Iowa! It will be a much more enjoyable day if you are toasty warm under the appropriate layers of clothing.
We’d like to also thank the following sponsors who, along with Apex Wind Energy, make Color the Wind a premier winter event at the Lake.
- Wind Dancer Sponsors: CL Tel, Clear Lake Bank & Trust, Lions Club, Kingland
- Wind Twister Sponsors: The Other Place, Cabin Coffee, City of Clear Lake, Rookies/Sevens/Tap’d, Farmers State Bank, MBT Bank, Avion Azul, NTI LTD, Cookies, etc., Rotary Club, 173 Craft Distillery
- Freestyle Sponsors: Lake Iowa Realty, Larson’s Mercantile, VFW, Hall Realty, Hidden Jem Lake House
As always, we would not be able to put on these incredible events without the support of these incredible Chamber Members. Their commitment and dedication to making Clear Lake stand above the rest doesn’t go unnoticed.
Last year was a record attendance for Color the Wind. We even backed up I-35, remember? Let’s make it another one for the record books. Tell your friends. Tell your neighbors. Invite them to share in the wonder and beauty as we take to the skies this winter.
To find a full list of details for the day, visit https://clearlakeiowa.com/events/color-the-wind/