Go Fly a Kite

By DIANNA TROYER

To briefly forget about to-do list tasks, personal problems, or political turmoil, Dean Turnblom suggests people go fly a kite. He and his wife, Vickie, follow their own advice, especially with spring’s balmy breezes.

“When you’re holding kite strings, all that matters is keeping it up there,” said Turnblom, 66, an insurance agent in Idaho Falls. “It’s so soothing and relaxing, you forget about any troubles for awhile and just enjoy watching it fly.”

Every spring, Turnblom and his wife organize Kiting Just for Fun, an eastern Idaho festival in Rigby. This year, it will be held from noon to 5 p.m. on May 5 at Rigby High School.

“We love having people come to the festival and have a good time for a few hours,” he said. “The more who come, the better. Folks will be able to build a small kite for free at the festival. Kids from ages 3 to 93 love the kites and love to make them.”

The Turnbloms are hardly alone in their kite-flying enthusiasm. Springtime kite festivals are scheduled elsewhere in Idaho. The Hayden Kite Festival begins at noon on April 21 at Broadmore Park. In Meridian, west of Boise, the Treasure Valley Kite Festival is scheduled from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. April 28 at Julius M. Kleiner Memorial Park.

To share their love of kites, Turnblom and his wife not only organize the festival, they also have a small shop, Sunrise Kites, in Grant.

“We’re open by appointment and have about 250 kites, from simple single lines to ones with two or four lines,” said Turnblom. “We love answering questions and sharing what we’ve learned.”

The Turnbloms fly their kites at several popular festivals in Oregon and Washington that attract kite enthusiasts from around the world. When they go, Turnblom picks from his personal collection of 75 kites.

“Our favorite festivals are at Long Beach and Rockaway Beach,” said Turnblom. “You see kites of all sizes, from king-sized to miniature. Our largest kite is 250 square feet. We stake it to the ground or tie it to a truck hitch and hold it up for the wind to catch it. It’s so easy to get up.”

Whenever he flies a kite and feels joy, Turnblom remembers why they named their shop Sunrise Kites. He and his wife met at Jackson Lake Lodge, and they often went to nearby String Lake to watch the sun rise.

“It seemed a perfect name for how we feel and want others to feel when they’re flying a kite,” said Turnblom.

To learn more about kites or the festival, contact Turnblom at (208) 847-5552 or at sunrisekites@

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