This past weekend was the 31st Carolina Kite Festival at the Sands Villa Resort in Atlantic Beach, NC. This festival is sponsored by my local kite shop, Kites Unlimited & Bird Stuff, Etc., also found in Atlantic Beach, NC. We had no idea how this one would be attended as Hurricane Florence hit us hard and many people are out of work and out of their homes. Also, many of the hotels and condo units were damaged which made accommodations in the area harder to find. But it didn’t deter most of our regular out-of-town flyers.
The weekend started with very high winds and chilly temperatures. It rained the Friday before and was cloudy most of the day Saturday. The winds kept a lot of the attendees from flying their single line kites as no one wanted to have a broken kite. Luckily, the winds were blowing steady down the beach which made it much better for the large kites to fly. And there was a grand show of large kites.
The weatherman was both right and wrong about the weather on Sunday. The sky cleared and the sun came out which warmed up the afternoon. But the winds never let up, came across the buildings along the beach and became more turbulent. Fewer big kites were flown. But there were more people with their single line kites out on the field.
A couple of our special guests this year were Ray Wong and Randy Tom. Both are makers of art kites and hail from California. And both brought kites to be sold at the kite shop.. Photos of their kites are on the Kites Unlimited & Bird Stuff, Etc. Facebook page.
The Bay Area Sundowners Kite Team came from San Fransisco to perform both days. They are always a joy to watch. They perform routines flying stacks of thirteen hyperkites in red, white and blue. Many spectators come year after year to see them perform. Saturday’s wind was a little too high but they gave it a try anyway and did a good job. The slighter winds on Sunday were better and the team flew a couple different routines throughout the day.
On the third kite field, the stunt kites were flown. Dual line and quad line stunt kites were in the air as the wind and the whim of the flyers allowed. Along with all the flying, there was a kids’ kite building table for children to decorate and assemble a small sled kite and a candy drop from a high-flying delta kite. A few brave souls even went out on the beach Saturday night to fly their kites with lights on them. I emphasize “brave” as it was very cold after the sun went down.
Although it seems that I spent most of my time running around with my camera photographing the event, I did get to fly a couple of my single line kites, a friend’s quad line kite and visit with kite flyers I hadn’t seen in quite some time. The festival was deemed a success and plans are already in the works for next year’s event. For more pictures and some video from the festival, check out the Kites Unlimited & Bird Stuff, Etc. Facebook page (Kites Unlimited & Bird Stuff, Etc.).
Fair Winds All