It’s a sign of the times now that some entertainment is offered drive-in style. Concerts, stand-up comedy gigs and movies, like Danny and Sandy go to in the film Grease. Well, this past weekend, as well as the one before, I went to a drive-in kite display at the Westmorland Showground in Cumbria. It’s been a good opportunity to build up confidence again, as I ease out of lockdown.
This display was organised by the company SmileFactor10, which is based nearby in Preston Patrick. The same people behind the St Anne’s kite festival, something I know about from my time with BBC Radio Lancashire.
With another radio connection, I came across the most recent event when setting up a piece for BBC Radio Cumbria about an alternative Westmorland Show that’s being held at Crooklands, near Milnthorpe, instead of the usual event that can attract crowds of about 30,000 people. While researching the piece I found out there was some drive-in kite displays coming up.
The event had to be booked in advance on the website and upon arrival at the showground gate you showed your QR code and it was scanned through the car window. Each parking spot on the field was five metres wide, which allowed for space beside the car for a picnic at a safe social distance from others.
The first weekend was so enjoyable it prompted a visit again the week after. One thing you can’t plan for though is the wind speed and this was stronger the first time around, which enabled bigger kites to take to the skies. Giant teddy bears, Chinese dragons and big manta ray fish, for example. The second weekend allowed a glimpse of some smaller and more delicate kites including Little Red Riding Hood and Superman.
Whatever normality is, being at the kite-display felt a bit closer to that. It was good to be out and about again, even though it’s a small and tentative step it feels like a step in the right direction. A way to support local businesses and feel the sunshine… I even have a sunburnt arm to prove it!