Since LVKS was formed in 1991, it had grown into one of the formidable kite clubs in the USA. We set the nationwide standard in kids kite building, competition, innovative ground and aerial displays and camaraderie among kite fliers. LVKS has since folded into Pocono Kite Symphony.
Over 20,000 pocket sled kites have been built in our year-round kids kitebuilding workshops. Local community groups as well as distant kiting events hosted kitebuilding sessions, where kids of all ages built and flew their own kites.
Some the places LVKS and Pocono Kite Symphoony has built kids kites – Boy and Girl Scouts, schools, Moutaintop Kite Festival, Berwick River Fest, Longwood Gardens, The Franklin Institute, Philadelphia, Pa, Lehigh Valley Mall and kiting events for Sky Festival Productions at Wildwood, N.J., Asbury Park, N.J., The Rockaways, N.Y., Philadelphia, Pa., Ocean City, Md. and Liberty State Park, N.J. among many others.
The first Saturday of May, LVKS held its annual kite festival at Louise Moore Park in Bethlehem Township, PA. Thousands of participants and spectators took advantage of a spring day to enjoy the outdoors and fly their kites. This all began when an ad appeared in the local paper asking for help to create a kite festival for Northampton County in the Spring of 1991. Andy Gelinas, LVKS founder and President Emeritus, answered the ad, and with help from his family, co-workers and friends fabricated the first annual “Kite Day in the Park” at Louise Moore Park, Bethlehem Township, PA. Through the years this festival had been attended by thousands of folks. This festival endured through the Spring of 2007 under LVKS.
Another of the many facets of kite flying, LVKS had two sport kite competition teams, the Valli Girlz (Karianne and Julie Gelinas, Kris Keeler and Emily Kimble) and the Valli Boyz (Bill Beneker and Tim and Karen Waters) both of which reached the masters level. There were also individual members who have competed (Rich Koons, Steve Millner, Paul Keeler, Ruth Palifrone, Jason Robins and Edna Bertholf).
Kite Building Competitions – These competitions were held at major festivals and were a large part of LVKS. Kite builders compete at festivals with their expertise in building and flying their homemade kites. They are judged on beauty, construction and flight. To name a few Tony Reiser, Walter Wolf Jr., Todd Little, Cliff and Joyce Quinn, James Ribar, Paul Keeler, Molly and Ron Dunn, Glen and Tanna Haynes, Scott Spencer and Andy Gelinas and Joyce Quinn.
Various projects helped LVKS promote kiting through a group effort while improving their building techniques. Things were designed and built as a group effort: Rokakkus, A Quilted Style Flag, Feather Flags, Cabanas and much much more. To See some of LVKS favorite projects and see write ups from members “hit” buttons on left console.
By the End of 2007 LVKS had no one interested in “spearheading” LVKS into 2008. The same few people had been doing all the work and were tired. LVKS was about to fold. Three years earlier in 2004, Andy Gelinas had moved about an hour North to East Stroudsburg, Pa. Although still very active in LVKS, and feeling unhappy with the demise of the club, he made an offer to the LVKS Board to start a new kite club to the North and allow LVKS to merge into the new club. This offer was accepted unanimously. In February 2008 LVKS officially became part of the newly formed “Pocono Kite Symphony”. Our intent is to keep the LVKS name viable through mixed ground displays (both LVKS and PKS), keep up the tradition of kids kite building that LVKS was so adept at, and an attempt to keep kiting alive in Eastern Pennsylvania.
Since the transformation and transition last spring (2008) of LVKS into PKS we have been busy. As a part of AKA National Kite Month, PKS won an award for “Most Workshops” during the month. We now have about 25 five foot PKS feather flags to match the 50 or so LVKS ones we also display. We made two large PKS flags, a 10 foot & a 12 foot, and repaired many of the LVKS flags so they could still be used. Additionally, we built a 45 foot PKS Logo Kite for the Kitemaking Competition at MASKC in April. This kite design, known as a Heksebeest, is also the logo kite for our Sister Club “Dutch Kite Symphony” in the Netherlands.
Besides being busy we’ve also been racking up the miles. We have attended the MASKC, WILDWOOD and SUNFEST Kite Festivals, the AKA Convention in Gettysburg, PA (represented by Joyce Quinn) and produced two Kite Day In The Park festivals in Northampton County, PA (the first in May and the second in August). In keeping with LVKS tradition we have built almost 700 kid’s kites for Big Brothers & Big Sisters, different schools, Longwood Gardens and our own Kite Day In The Park festival.
For the Christmas season we donated kites in the name of “Pocono Kite Symphony” to the U. S. Marine Corps Reserve “Toys for Tots” campaign.
Below is a summary of 2009 events—
1. Longwood Gardens– Kennett Square, PA – April – Andy, Joyce, Sylvia, Jonathan and Tony. Ground display, KidsKiteBuilding, Lodging. Kids kites built 600.
2. Monroe County Kite Day – Snydersville, PA – April – 1-4 PM – Andy, Joyce, Sylvia, and Jonathan. Ground Display. Kids Kites built – 20.
3. MIKE/MASKC – April – Ocean City, MD – Andy, Joyce, Sylvia – stayed at Syl’s. Small Ground Display.
4. KDIP – Louise Moore Park – May – Andy, Joyce, Sylvia, Julie, Mattie and Jonathan. Rain, raffle, Kite sales and food. Kites built – 35.
Kite Workshops – AKA National Kite Month – April – Feather Flags, Mega Banner and Event Shelter projects. Also built “Big Broggy” the second PKS logo kite. As an aside: Our club had 30 workshops out of 50 posted for all of Pennsylvania in the AKA’s National Kite Month.
Newark Park System – May – Andy, Joyce, Sylvia and Jonathan. Kids Kite Building – 200 kites built during fishing tournament for kids.
Sunfest – September – Ocean City, MD – Andy, Sylvia and Joyce. Rain Friday, Ground Display on Saturday and Auction on Sunday. Stayed at Syl’s place.
Sciencefest – Bethlehem, Pa – October – Andy, Joyce and Sylvia – Ground Display set up mostly inside due to rain. KidsKiteBuilding – kites built – 165.
AKA Convention – Rochester, Minnesota – October – only Joyce attended.
Toys for Tots – kites donated in the name of the Pocono Kite Symphony.
Into March… Kiting events and happenings have begun…
This is the time of year when we repair our display flags and banners, kites and many other items to be used throughout the new season. Most often we have a project or two either planned or underway during National Kite Month (April). Workshops will be underway shortly building 3 Bols for the kids at our Kite Day in the Park (first Saturday of May). We also rebuilt our Mega-Banner shelter and printed PKS club shirts.
We had fun touting the club at an indoor flea market as well as more kids kitebuilding at Sciencefest School and Cub Scouts. We also participated in the Big Pocono Fall Foliage Festival, Sunfest in Ocean City MD, Meet ‘N Greet in East Stroudsburg, PA and Toys for Tots at Christmas time.
In January we had our 1st Annual Kiting Kick-off Dinner at the Stroudsmoore Inn.
Pocono Kite Symphony has been busy this spring and early summer. In April we had our workshops which included a new table banner, repairs to our ground display flags. Our 21st Annual Kite Day In The Park at Louise Moore Park, Easton, PA
was again a success.
June saw us atop Big Pocono Mt. at the Mountain Laurel Festival. “Meet ‘n Greet” has become a good way to get noticed. We have received invitations from these events. They love our big display.
In July we had a request from ArtsQuest in Bethlehem, PA to set up our large flag display and do a “Meet ‘n Greet” and a kids kite building at the opening dedication ceremonies at the Steel Stacks for the Levitt Pavilion on the old Bethlehem Steel Properties. A beautiful park with cultural things and concerts scheduled in the near future.
Then throughout the summer we did kite builds at the Lower Milford Elementary School in Coopersburg, PA., Hamilton Elementary School in Sciota, PA. and at Mountainview Park in Tannersville,PA.
Friends of Big Pocono Mountain invited us once again to their Fall Foliage Festival Meet ‘N Greet.
AKA Convention this year held in Wildwood, NJ attended by Joyce Quinn representing PKS once again.
January of the new year saw the club at the 2nd Annual “Kick Off” Dinner at the Stroudsmoor Inn. We find is a great way to wind down from the Holidays which makes it all that much more enjoyable. No meeting was held in January because of the dinner…WHAT A GREAT MEETING!
February – Wendy found herself being asked if she would consider being the Webmaster for the Club… She hemmed and hawed and raised her eyebrows a few times and was finally cajoled into accepting. She is doing a great job.
Our annual “Kite Day in the Park” festival plans were under way already. The “Old Guard” (Andy, Joyce & Sylvia) were mentoring the “New Guard” (Lori, Dave & Wendy) hoping for a successful festival.
We also had a workshop where Lori and Wendy worked on their 5’ feather flags, Joyce worked on a table banner for Meet ‘n Greets, and Sylvia worked on her fish kite with Andy spearheading the whole workshop.
March – The monthly meeting had us doing more planning for KDIP. We had decided to do a workshop the day after each meeting for a few months. This workshop was concentrated on KDIP with kitchen inventories being taken and Wendy presenting the KDIP flyer while doing more planning for the Website.
April – More KDIP – takes a lot of planning to do a festival! A special last minute check meeting was called for May 3rd, two days before KDIP.
May – “Kite Day in the Park” festival at the beautiful Louise Moore Park was a successful one under the ‘New Guard”.
Did a kids Kitebuild at an elementary school in Stroudsburg, PA. All was going well until an unscheduled, accidental FIRE ALARM went off. Too bad it was in the middle of the build or the kids could have taken their kites out with them. That was different!
June had us back up on top of Big Pocono Mt. doing a “Meet ‘n Greet” with the “Friends of Big Pocono” group and their Mountain Laurel Festival.
July – Another meeting with a workshop following the next day. We did 3 more kids Kitebuilds in a row… Girl Scouts and two summer camps, July 19th, 25th & 27th. We were busy but had a lot of help at each one.
August – Another PKS Business meeting with no workshop (waaay too hot!).
September – Club meeting and workshop, worked on Mega Banner / Shelter project. We also pre-taped Kids Kite Kits. We were instrumental in helping to create the First Hindu Kite Festival north of Allentown in Coplay, Pa. This was a very nice event with good winds and a beautiful setting. Looking forward to next year and helping out again.
We also attended Sunfest at Ocean City, MD again this year…a good time was had by all.
October – Business meeting as usual plus a workshop where we worked on the shelter, did repairs and pre-taped (200) Kids Kite Kits for future use. THEN…Bethlehem Area School District contracted PKS for their After School Program, including Kids Kite Building thru out the year.
November – Solidified working with Bethlehem School District for the building of 500 kids kites.
December – No business meeting due to illness and busy season. Due to uncontrollable problems, we lost the “.org” status of our LVKS branch of PKS. It is now “.com” and the logo link on the PKS website is now in limbo. We are looking forward to our appreciation dinner at Stroudsmoor Inn in January.
In lieu of the January business meeting, the club went to the 3rd Annual Kick-off Appreciation Dinner held at the Stroudsmoor Inn in the Poconos. This is a great way to start the year and makes for a very interesting “meeting”. Great food and friends.
A plea for help on how to put on a kite festival was received from St. Martin’s Church in Mountain Top, PA.
Member Dale Wettstein passed away.
We had web problems. Somehow LVKS lost its domain name. It was fixed and the new web name is www.lehighvalleykitesociety.com. We use this website as Pocono Kite Symphony’s archive site.
Andy and Sylvia made a road trip to visit Mountain Top, saw the fields and met with the township and church rep.
The club held another workshop to pre-tape kids kite kits. This makes it easier for all involved with kids kite building. 1/3 less work onsite.
The “new guard”, Wendy, Dave and Lori, were well under way with planning KDIP… More road signs were made, people contacted for sponsorship, assignments of responsibilities was established.
While loading trucks and vans with club stuff, a special meeting of KDIP was held.
The 23rd Annual Kite Day in the Park was held on May 4th. It is always a lot of work but this year proved well worth it.
Joyce had arranged for the club to do kids kite building for the Bethlehem Area School “After School Program”. We did kite building on May 7, 9, and 14 at various elementary schools. This was a new venture and seemed to be well received. The possibility of doing it again next year remains promising.
PKS members were once again found atop Big Pocono Mt. for the “Friends of Big Pocono” Mountain Laurel Festival. We enjoy doing the “Meet ‘n Greet” there and actually got to fly our own kites this year.
The meeting and workshops were cancelled due to various reasons.
The monthly business meeting and workshop weekend was held on August 8th & 9th. A good majority of the meeting was spent giving new member, Rich Evans, guidelines, hints and tips as well as dos and don’ts for his Mountain Top Kite Festival to be held in September 2013.
September was a busy and fun-filled month. First up was the Vishwa Hindu Parishad of America & Anoopam Mission 2nd Annual Kite Festival held September 8th. It was a beautiful day with some good wind. A few of our members took on the challenge of launching some of our larger kites for display.
Our monthly business meeting and workshop were held on September 13th & 14th. During the meeting and workshop preparations were made for attending Sunfest in Ocean City, MD the weekend of September 20th.
Hot on the heels of a fantastic weekend in Ocean City, MD, PKS attended and helped spearhead the new Mountain Top Kite Festival. Even though Mother Nature didn’t come through with our request for wind that day, we had a great time and made lots of new friends. The kids kite building was a huge success.
We held our monthly meeting and workshop on October 11th & 12th.
We were welcomed back to hold additional kid’s kite builds for the Bethlehem Area School District After School Program. Kite builds were held and 4 different Bethlehem elementary schools on October 4, 16, 17 and 21.
We held our monthly business meeting and workshop on November 8th & 9th.
We has a special, impromptu meeting on December 7th. Andy and Sylvia delivered kites donated to the Toys for Tots program.
Although the weather didn’t cooperate with our first attempt at our annual kick-off dinner at Stroudsmoor Country Inn in Stroudsburg, PA it was just a minor set-back. We gathered for a delicious meal and good conversation on Friday, January 17th, less our illustrious leader who was unable to attend. The meeting for January was not held in lieu of this buffet dinner… what a way to have a meeting! It was great!
The monthly meeting was held at the clubhouse (Gelinas residence – Stroudsburg, PA)… Our meetings are held the 2nd Friday of each month with a workshop following the day after (unless otherwise stated). This month’s workshop consisted of working on 5’ feather flags, some members’ new ones, and repairing some of the old ones. Repairs were done on fatigued banners, kites, and flags, an ongoing thing.
Held the monthly meeting and workshop the next day… repairs and new flags… and began prepping for KDIP.
Had the meeting – Wendy and Andy offered to put up money for new t-shirts, was approved and new PKS t-shirts were ordered… at workshop new flags and more prep for KDIP.
First Saturday of May we had our 24th Annual Kite Day in the Park… a big work day for all… held the after KDIP helper party (dinner at park)…
Monthly meeting with an extensive debriefing from KDIP… workshop was spent pretty much sorting, packing away, etc. from KDIP.
Monthly meeting… no workshop because we decided to attend a Blue Mt. event… pretty much a bust for PKS, not much exposure for us… a learning experience.
Monthly meeting and held 2 workshops this month… working on personal 5’ feather flags…
Monthly meeting and were busy this month with the 3rd Annual Hindu Kite Festival, Sunfest, O.C., MD… and Mt. Top 2nd Annual Kite Festival… Big Pocono was scheduled but rained out…
Meeting and workshop… meeting was mostly a debriefing from Mt. Top Festival…
Monthly meeting and workshop following day…more repairs and new feather flags for PKS club display…
Monthly meeting with lots of ideas and changes discussed for the new year… no workshop scheduled…
In lieu of club meeting. Club members had their annual “Kick-off” appreciation dinner. This year we went to Studebaker’s Restaurant. All went home filled.
Monthly meeting at clubhouse. Workshop next day – pre-taped kite kits, Bols were fixed. Shamrock 5’ feather flag was patched. Lori and Wendy each worked on their 5’ feather flags.
Monthly meeting at clubhouse. Workshop next day – Primary concern was to pre-tape kites for KDIP. Crew was able to complete and tape shut box for KDIP. Repairs to feather flags were also completed.
Monthly meeting at clubhouse. Mostly prep work for 25th Anniversary KDIP.
Last minute meeting for KDIP.
The 25th Anniversary of KDIP was held at Louise Moore Park. Good day. Big success.
Monthly meeting at clubhouse. Wendy Stephanko assumed the position of President of the club. Andy became Treasurer. June workshop cancelled because of extreme heat and club members way too much to do (moving) etc.
Lehighton Lions kite build – June 7.
Forks Township cubs kite build – June 24.
Meeting and workshop cancelled because it was just too hot and members still had too much going on – extreme conditions.
Monthly meeting at clubhouse. Workshop next day members completed pre-taping enough kites plus for Mt. Top Kite Festival. More bridles were made and discussed plans and color design for “over / under” Conyne kite for club project.
Monthly meeting at clubhouse. Workshop next day was cancelled because we were to attend the Hindu Kite Festival. The week of Hindu Festival we received notice that it was cancelled but too late to schedule a workshop. Prepped for Mt. Top.
Monthly meeting at Wendy’s house in Coopersburg. Wendy treated members present with a delicious ”MOJO” chicken meal and then held meeting… great way to go and very much appreciated by all. Workshop next day in the Poconos. 2015 yearly update worked on by Andy and Joyce. Wendy worked on website and her write up.
Monthly meeting back in the Poconos. At the workshop the next day the yearly write up fine tuned some more by Andy and Joyce and Wendy did her write up for website. Winter club fly was tabled because of bad weather and illness.
Monthly meeting at the clubhouse in the Poconos. Was voted not to have a workshop the next day because of the busy holiday season. Plans were made for the “Kick Off Dinner” to be held in January. Club fly was again tabled due to busy schedules, illness and weather. We will get there yet! It is still Winter.
We had regular meetings in the months of Feb., March, April, May, June, Aug., Sept., Oct. Nov. and Dec.
Several workshops were held throughout the year. We repaired flags, kite bags, kites, and made designs for new flags.
The first Saturday of May we had our 26th annual Kite Day in the Park at Louise Moore Park in Northampton County. We had a new item on the kitchen menu. Andy Gelinas spear-headed the project of “Chicken and Waffles”. It was a big success. One of his main helpers was Austin Cooper. Austin has celebrated his birthday at our KDIP for a number of years and this was his 18th birthday and he elected to help out at KDIP.
In June we were scheduled to go to the Mountain Laurel Festival at Big Pocono Park but it was rained out.
We were invited to build kids kites at the Steel Stacks 4th of July Celebration and we did so on July 3rd. It was successful.
In Sept. we did the Hindu Festival. It was HOT. But all who attended were awed by our display of flags and banners.
This year the club went to Sunfest. We all rented an apartment together and spent the weekend fighting the wind and rain. Saturday morning Dave Frantz managed to get 5’ feather flags to stay without blowing away. He also managed to fly Frankenfrog who has not been flown since his overhaul. It was so windy that Frankenfrog blew yet another seam. But he was up for a while.
On Oct. 1, we were scheduled to do the Mt.Top Kite Festival in Mt. Top, PA. We had to reschedule to the next Sat., Oct. 10 because of rain. Believe it or not we hit rain again, but the people running it said it was a go anyway. It was a scaled down festival.
In December. Dave and Lori Frantz delivered kites for “Toys for Tots”. We scheduled our appreciation dinner for Jan. 14, 2017 at the Sarah St. Grill in Stroudsburg.