“5th Annual Seal Beach Kite Festival”

This is the 5th year for the festival, and the second year for the competition associated with it. It’s been growing every year. It was billed as “the biggest festival west of the Mississippi”-a bit of hyperbole, but in a few years it might just be true, as it was quite well attended.

It’s a two day event, with competition on Saturday and demos and fun stuff on Sunday. Saturday was foggy! It finally burned off around 4PM, and the day was almost over when the sun came out. Sunday was sunny but very light winds, though it picked up in the afternoon.

On Saturday the winds were light and bumpy until the very end. This was a pretty normal Southern California event with about 15 competitors and tight scores. It’s basically a masters competition-with people like Steve LaPorte, Susan Shampo and Ron Despojado flying very well, and teams like Papalotes wowing the crowd. Steve LaPorte took masters ballet and freestyle, Ron Despojado took masters quadline ballet and Against the Wind took masters pairs ballet, but the scores for all events were very close, especially quadline ballet, with 1 point between 2nd and 4th.

But the competition wasn’t the only thing going on. Bay Area Sundowners were in town, and Dave Gomberg was too. Dave had a whole field to himself, and had several HUGE pieces in the air both days-mantas, a teddy bear, an octopus, a pair of legs, etc. There were also a lot of people just flying single liners and a lot of red, white and blue, as you would expect.

Sundowners did more demos than I can count, both days, with trains, quadlines and the addition of Team BiDance (Mark and Jeannete Lummas). Team Too Much Fun (the Lummases, Susan Shampo and Ron Despojado) also did several demos both days, as did a lot of the competitors on Sunday.

But all this wasn’t all that was going on either! Monty Weston of Up, Up and Away Kites had a large tent and was helping kids make and fly kites of their own. There was also a group of Taiko drummers on Sunday, and Lolly from Revolution came up from San Diego and was teaching quadline to anyone who wanted to learn. There were also a group of fighters on Sunday, and Steve Bateman came up from San Diego.

It was a very good two days-a great ending to the fall season. I’m looking forward to next year!

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