Sun comes out for Kite Day at McFarland Ranch

A family enjoys flying their kite during Kite Day, sponsored by the Galt Area Historical Society at McFarland Ranch, west of Galt on Sunday, April 1, 2012.

Parafoils, Deltas, Rokkakus, Sleds and Diamonds.

They’re not new types of Lucky Charms marshmallows. They’re kites, and families who head over to McFarland Living History Ranch in Galt this Sunday may have a chance to see a few, or even fly one.

Sunday is the ranch’s 17th annual Kite Day. The yearly kite festival is held every April, hosted by the Galt Area Historical Society.

“Everybody has a good time,” said Ron Jacobson, who helps to organize the colorful event.

Kite enthusiasts of all ages, from kids to kids-at-heart, are invited to come out with a kite and join the fun. It doesn’t matter if their kite is store-bought or homemade — the day is about having fun.

Inexperienced flyers shouldn’t be worried about missing out on the fun, Jacobson said.

“We show them how to fly,” he said.

The Galt Area Historical Society first began the work of launching a living history project in 1998. In 2003, McFarland Living History Ranch opened on a limited basis to more than 1,000 elementary school students.

During field trips, volunteers lead students through the property and the historic ranch house, built in 1878 by Galt pioneer John McFarland, who named the city after the town in his native Ontario, Canada.

Led by Jacobson and his wife Judy, volunteers from the historical society have untaken the vast majority of the work to restore the ranch home. They have overseen the removal of asbestos from the old home, fabricated replicas of the original, ornate moldings and door frames, hanging period-specific wallpaper, restoring original decor and more.

Jacobson is currently overseeing work to bring the home and parking lot up to the standards of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Kite Day gives the public a chance to visit the ranch.

Organizers will have tents and chairs for visitors. Up to 35 kites at a time will soar high above the grounds.

Food including hot dogs and ice cream will be available for purchase.

Jacobson hopes the community will come out to join the fun.

The rain is currently expected to hold off on Sunday, but if things do get wet, Kite Day will be postponed until April 28, he said.

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