And a few hours after the finish of La Ruta Maya, our news team moved over to the 3rd Annual Bowen and Bowen Kite Festival, held in the open parking lot behind the Central Bank of Belize.
It's only the third year of Bowen's sponsorship - but Kites and the ninth of March have been a tradition going back to, well….as long as there was a windswept month of March, and boys and girls with kites and the will to fly.
This year, though, it was a bumper crop of kites that had both scale and style. Daniel Ortiz found out more when he visited the contest:
Daniel Ortiz Reporting
On Sunday afternoon, the sky above the Marine Parade was dotted with the dazzling colors and designs of Belizean kite makers.
The kites were artistically created to match the different groups, some, singers, staries, moonies, box kites,and some, a crafty combination of the several different types.
Some of the participants in the festival were there only to enjoy the afternoon out and simply fly a kite, but many others were there for the competition.
A few of the winners took the time out to share the nuances of the craft with us:
Collin Tucker - Kite Maker
"I am Belize's best local artist."
"Tell us about this kite."
"I always win kite raising all the time, first place and stuff like that all the time."
"Did you win again this year?"
"I won again, first place for the best creative kite. The design is a starie, moonie, singer."
"How do you combine all those together?"
"Well, last time I raised another all-purpose one, but they stole it from me. So, I had to make a different selection and a different style."
Devon Bailey - Kite Maker
"This is the first time we came to bring out our one, but next year, we will come stronger with a bigger kite."
Derrol Adolphus - Kite Maker
"If you notice we can 4 cans on the side; 4 paint pan. They can turn."
"How do you keep a kite like this; how do you even launch it first, and the have it stay up in the air?"
"Everything is about the loop and the tail. Once you have a good loop, you will get a good flight."
Nigel Murray - Kite Maker
"I won first prize for the most creative Moonie Barry Bowen and Bowen kite. It has all kinds of soft drinks on it. You can see first of all; you have the Beer, the Stout, the Fresca, the Sprite, and Fanta; everything you think about to drink is right here."
Also at the competition, the children got a chance to build their own kites with the help of the experts.
Glenford Hyde - Kite Master
"We brought out like 430 something frames, and so far more than half of them are gone. The object is to try and make sure every child who wants a kite, get a chance to make one. We provide them with the frame, and the paper. They put it on, come back, and we tie the string for them."
Hyde says that kite making is a good way for parents to spend time with their kids.
"If, the father or the mother works with them, and help them build a kite, they can spend more time supervising the kids and I think that would really help Belize."
And many of the participants would wish for a full revival of the tradition.
"Well, I expected it to be much bigger and better, every year. I don't expect it to be small. The bigger it is the more kids will come out and everyone will get into the event. It will be much more better for everyone, even the kids."
And we did cover a few more events this weekend - like sailing and high school softball. We'll tell you about those tomorrow.