On Saturday, June 15 the GrieveWell Kite Festival is making camp at Pioneer High School for its third year to have a fun-filled day in the name of memorial and grief awareness. All are welcome.
“Our organization has always been represented by a kite,” said GrieveWell’s Executive Director Carol Lessure. “Because to us it represents the relationship between a person and their loved one who’s deceased, so the Kite Festival seems like a nice way for us get out there and reach the community and have the community come and join us for a fun day. We don’t often get to do that, especially with kids and families because of our services.”
Having put on the festival for a couple years, the GrieveWell team knows it’s a day that healing takes place.
“One of the things I’ve heard the most from people is that it’s a really nice opportunity for them to bring their family and still have an opportunity to remember a loved one,” said GrieveWell Marketing and Outreach Specialist Larrea Young. “But it’s also a joyful and fun activity. They’re out flying these kites, there’s crafts, there’s music, it’s not a sad memorial, it’s just a nice opportunity for people to come out and honor their loved ones.”
The festival is aimed toward having fun and creating memorable experiences to honor loved ones, but has a broader scope as well.
“We are really making an effort to educate the community about how to support people who are in grief,” Lessure said. “In modern society we don’t have the structure and the traditions around grief, so people don’t talk about it. It’s almost like people think that death and dying aren’t part of the natural process of things, but in fact we’re all going to face this at some point, and we need to talk about what is helpful to people and how we can be supportive of people who are in grief, because down the road we will all be touched by it.”
The festival has a special emphasis on families with kids.
“I love how they brought the attention of kite making to kids, “said Kites and Fun Things Owner, and professional kite performer Jon Trennepohl. “Their whole idea behind grief and dealing with it is one aspect, but they’re also including kite-making for young people which comes into play when trying to get people and families back outside and doing things together in a good way. I think it’s a good idea, and hey, kite flying is good for the community, you know, and bringing people together for a good cause is another good idea.”
The GrieveWell Kite Festival is happening regardless of conditions, because grief doesn’t take a break for the weather. However, let’s hope for clear skies and a cool breeze.
“The one thing we need when we fly kites is wind,” says Trennepohl. “As long as we have a good day and we get a little bit of wind and no rain we’ll be fine.”
The Kite Festival features:
- Professional kite shows from amateur and professional kite teams
- Voting for the Fan Favorites in the community wide Kite Coloring Contest
- Frustrationless Flyer kites—easy to fly kites for any age or skill level—will be available for $5
- A memorial mural for those who wish to honor the memory of a loved one
- Fun giveaways from GrieveWell and Festival sponsors
- Kids Zone including crafts and games
- Food and treats (available for purchase)
- Information about the GrieveWell mission and vision
Registration is free, preregister at www.GrieveWell.com/kites