By M. Scott Morris/NEMS Daily Journal
TUPELO – If Keith Merritt has his way, colors will streak across the sky over Veterans Park on Saturday.
Merritt started Family Kite Day more than a decade ago as a way for parents and children to have fun together.
When his wife, Gayle, died of pancreatic cancer, he was unable to bring the proper spirit to the event. That resulted in a five-year hiatus.
About six weeks ago, a friend told him people were wondering what had happened to Family Kite Day. Merritt took that as a sign.
“I felt like it was the Holy Spirit prompting me to get back involved because it was a joyous thing to do,” he said.
The Gayle Merritt Memorial Family Kite Day will be 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday east of the Aquatic Center construction at the park. In case of rain, the date will be May 11.
“The Tupelo chapter of the Knights of Columbus is sponsoring it,” Merritt said. “They’re going to provide all the food, hamburgers, hot-dogs, chips and soft drinks.”
It’ll be free to eat and free to fly, but there will be a donation jar set up to benefit the Pancreatic Cancer Foundation.
“It doesn’t have to be a fancy kite,” he said. “Just pick one up from Walmart.”
Merritt added that kite shops online usually have quality kites available at clearance prices. Those quick on the mouse button could have a new kite delivered by Family Kite Day.
Prizes will be awarded for highest flying kite, most unusual kite and best homemade kite.
“This is just a wonderful way to spend quality time with your children,” Merritt said, “and it’s free.”
At A Glance
WHAT: Gayle Merritt Memorial Family Kite Day
WHEN: 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday
WHERE: Veterans Park
TICKETS: Free, but donations will be accepted for the Pancreatic Cancer Foundation