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CLEVELAND -- One of the best rituals of Spring is the ability to get outside again after winter's thaw and fly a kite.

April breezes create the perfect kite flying conditions with Lake Erie's proximity to the north coast where generations of kids have gathered at area beaches, parks and open backyards to launch bright and colorful kites high into the spring sky.

According to the Old Farmers Almanac, kite flying probably began on the Asian continent centuries ago by a Chinese farmer who kept his hat from flying away by attaching it to a string. In more recent times, kites were used by the weather curious to conduct experiments that eventually led to Benjamin Franklin's famous kite and key experiment in the 1700s to study the electrical properties of lightning.

April is officially National Kite Month and we've got some tips to help you have the best experience with your kite.

  • Find a wide open space where there are no trees, power lines, houses, low flying airplanes and other obstacles that could entangle your kite or present a danger to others.
  • Wind speeds should be a steady 5 to 25 mph. Anything gustier may make the kite uncontrollable.
  • Kites should also have between 60 and 100 feet of line attached between the kite and the person handling the kite.
  • Never fly a kite during high winds, rainy weather or thunderstorms.

To launch your kite, you should do the following...

  • Make sure your back is to the wind.
  • If possible, have a friend stand about 30 feet away and hold the kite where the string is attached, while facing you.
  • Once the kite catches the wind, release it with a little slack, then gradually pull it tight to help the kite fly higher.

If the kite has trouble lifting, consider the following...

  • There may not be enough wind or too much wind.
  • The kite's tail may be too short or too long.
  • The bridle on the kite may need moved.

So, enjoy the spring and your kiting flying adventures.

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Some information courtesy: Old Farmer's Almanac

Follow Frank Macek on Twitter @ frankmacekwkyc

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