AP NEWS

Festival provides a day full of activities

May 16, 2019

LAUGHLIN — Pam Weaver and Martha LaPean probably were the only people lamenting the lack of wind at Saturday’s Wings & Wildlife Festival at Pyramid Canyon Day Use Area.

“We could use a little more breeze,” LaPean mused on an otherwise beautiful day in the shadow of Davis Dam as families casually milled around. “It would be better for the kites.”

Walker and LaPean, representing American Legion Post 60 of Laughlin, were in charge of the kite-flying booth, distributing small plastic air-worthy devices. The absence of wind — at least by Tri-state standards — meant the young participants had to generate their own propulsion to get the kites airborne and keep them there. Fortunately, most were energetic enough to meet the challenge.

The annual event was put on by the Laughlin Chamber of Commerce and its Volunteers in Partnership, the National Park Service, the Nevada Division of Wildlife, the Laughlin Elks Lodge, the American Legion Post 60 of Laughlin and the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department Volunteers. Other groups and agencies also had representatives on site, manning activity booths, distributing information on programs and discussing the past, present and future of Davis Dam and Pyramid Canyon park.

Kite-flying was one of a number activities available at the Wings & Wildlife Festival. The National Park Service and Nevada Division of Wildlife covered the namesake activities with displays featuring some of animals — flying and otherwise — that frequent the Tri-state.

There was rock-painting, face-painting, a treasure hunt, music and plenty of fresh air on a bright, sunny day.

Shelby Proctor brought her daughters, Emma, 5, and Sage, 4 months, “just to be a part of the community.”

She said the occasion offered a family-friendly activity “before it gets too hot.”

Emma worked diligently with a multi-colored palette and a small brush as she applied paint to a smooth, hand-sized river rock, oblivious to the other activities going on around her.

Jamine Sasner came with three children, her 9-year-old daughter and 6-year-old twin sons, because “it sounded like fun.”

The family drove from Kingman.

“It’s a long drive but well worth it,” she said as the children restlessly scoped out what adventure to enjoy next. “It’s a perfect Mother’s Day eve activity. They’re having fun. They’re looking forward to the kite-flying.”

Many of the children were. Weaver and LaPean’s canopy-covered table was a popular attraction. The Legion brought 120 kites, most themed with child-favorite characters, and Weaver and LaPean hoped the supply would be enough. Fliers got to keep their kites.

Michael and Kaitlyn Bruno brought their 13-month-old daughter, May, so she could “fly a kite for the first time.”

“And to play with the kids,” Kaitlyn added. “She loves to play with other kids.”

May spent nearly as much time selecting her kite as she did flying it. Her parents let her choose; she narrowed the field to Cinderella and My Little Pony, eventually pointing to Cinderella.

It took Michael only a minute or so to assemble the kite, then off they went to the nearby clearing. May seemed thrilled when her dad got the kite into the air. The thrill, however, lasted only a few minutes and, in typical 13-month-old fashion, May’s attention was diverted to other activities — primarily toddling around.

Weaver and LaPean both said they had been involved in the Wings & Wildlife Festival for “four or five years.”

“I love it,” Weaver said. “We set a good example for the kids. They need a good role model. We do care about the kids.