Families gather at Rugby Field to fly kites


Samuel Nusbaum

Families and students fly kites on the Rugby Field Saturday during “Flying High with EIU.” The kites came premade and featured various designs including superheroes, aliens, airplanes and dragons.

Samuel Nusbaum, Administration Reporter

Kites flew high over the Rugby Field by the Campus Pond on a sunny afternoon, anchored by smiling adults, students and children on the ground.

Eastern’s Staff Senate put “Flying High with EIU” on Saturday a few hours before the football game at O’Brien Field.

The kites came either premade or with kite-making kits. Snacks were also available for kite-flyers who got hungry or thirsty.

People chose from about 40 kites to play with.

The kites came with various prints on them, ranging from superheroes like the Transformers, Iron Man and Spider-Man, to the minions from movies “Despicable Me” and “Minions”, to aliens, airplanes, flames, and a dragon.

The kites could be seen from Stevenson Hall and even across the street, drawing all kinds of attention. Some people walking by the Campus Pond stopped by to play with the kites.

Suzann Bennett, an office support associate in the Honors College, said it was a beautiful fall day to be out flying kites.

Bennett said she did a test flight the Friday night, though her kite only stayed up for a few minutes. However, Saturday’s breeze helped her kite stay up longer.

Bennett said the goal for day was simple.

“(We’re) just try(ing) to have a fun day,” Bennett said.

Shaniyah Mayes, a junior psychology major, said she saw the activity advertised on the community service calendar and decided to check it out.

Mayes said it was not the first time she has flown a kite; she had also done so as a child, but this is the first time she had flown one in a while.

“It is more relaxing than anything to have the wind blow through your hair,” Mayes said.

She said it is a challenge to get the kite up in the air in the first place, as it takes a running start to get the wind under the kite.

It is a lot of exercise, but it is rewarding to get the kite up and flying, Mayes said.

Mayes had an Iron Man kite, which kept falling to the ground, so she concluded it was time to get a minion one.

“Iron Man was tired,” Mayes said.

Many families showed up to play with kites, including the family of Alex Lazzara of Carol Stream, Ill. He was visiting his grandmother, a Charleston resident, with his brother for the weekend.

Lazzara said his grandma heard there would be kite flying and thought it would be a good family activity.

He said it was not hard to build his kite, as he only had a couple of pieces to put together. Lazzara eventually let his brother use his own kite, as the one his brother was trying to use was not catching the wind well.

Lazzara said flying the kite made him feel like he was three, and it took his mind off of what he had to get done when he got home.

Keerthana Saraswathula, a freshman undecided major, said she was doing it as part of the class University Foundations, which is offered specifically to freshmen so they can familiarize themselves with Eastern.

She said she was flying kites as a way to interact with the campus.

Though Saraswathula had flown kites with her family at her local park when she was younger, she was still a little rusty at the start of the activity.

“It was a little bit rough in the beginning but I got it,” Saraswathula said.

Samuel Nusbaum can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected]