Go Fly a Kite

Want a crack at the Guinness Book of World Records? You could try pushups -- number of pushups in an hour. Of course, you'd need to top the current record holder, a Canadian who completed 3,416 in the allotted time in 1998. How about bench-pressing heavy weights? Nah.

Here's an easier way -- at least easier on the pecs -- to Guinness status. Just show up at Brian Piccolo Park on Saturday for Kites Unite Against Pet Overpopulation.

Pet Aid League, a 35-year-old organization that promotes spaying and neutering to reduce pet overpopulation, is seeking record-holding fame with the most kites flying simultaneously. For that, it needs to keep at least 675 kites aloft for at least 30 seconds, according to Kimberly Dezarn, director of the Pet Aid League.

The current record for this feat, according to Guinness authorities, is 674, at an event three years ago in New Jersey.

For Saturday's event, participants can bring their own kites, they can buy kites at the park, or they can learn how to craft their own from a sheet of paper and straws. It's easy, says Dan Ward, owner of Skyward Kites in Miami Beach, which is offering free kite-making kits. A sheet of paper, custom colored by the kite-flier with crayons, gets folded three times. A straw and a crepe paper tail are fastened with sticky-back labels. The string is attached -- and there you have it.

"These paper kites do great," says Ward, who has seen them fly about 250 feet high and 500 feet out. "It flies fabulously well with the right breeze. And the right breeze is a light breeze."

For those who'd rather fly something a bit fancier, Ward will also sell more-sophisticated models, including such fancy entries as stunt kites and four-line kites. And if the wind is right, Ward might just break out his 90-foot-long inflated squid kite.


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