Just Above Sunset
August 6, 2006 - The Thirty-Second Annual Festival of the Kite













Home | The Weird | Quotes





The Thirty-Second Annual Festival of the Kite

Thursdays the Los Angeles Times publishes the weekend guide to what's up out here, and on July 27 there was this -

 

You don't have to be serious about kites to feel as if you have the world on a string.

Thousands for whom the airborne wonders are a flight of fancy will join scores who have made kites a lifelong passion on Sunday at the 32nd annual Festival of the Kite, with the skies around the Redondo Beach Pier promising to turn into a montage of brightly hued objects of all shapes and sizes.

 

The silly prose is from one Sondra Farrell Bazrod, - who also quotes Burt the Chimney Sweep from "Mary Poppins" - but she quotes even sillier words from Mel Hickman, who is Executive Director of the American Kitefliers Association (yes, there is such an organization) -

 

Kites are more popular than at any time in history, and festivals are growing around the world. It's a great hobby and is inexpensive, and kites are easy to make and teach the maker about the physical world.

The best thing is that you don't care what color a person is or of what political party or gay or straight. The wind either blows for you or it doesn't, and there's nothing you can do about who you are that can change that. It's a very "communizing" factor, and so kite fliers tend to be a lot less caught up in themselves than maybe other groups. It's also a great tension reliever to stand there with a kite and watch it play with the clouds. If you're near the water when you fly your kite into a setting sun it's almost mystical.

 

Ah, world peace and universal brotherhood (or sisterhood or whatever) would be at hand if everyone just went to the beach and flew kites. Or so says this fifty-five-year-old man who heads an organization four thousand strong. One wonders what his day job is. Well, this is California.

The Redondo Beach event is a showcase for Tom Fine, a man in his mid-forties, who has owned Sunshine Kites on the pier for ten years now. Sunshine Kites sponsors the festival. Fine once built a kite twenty-five feet wide and sixteen feet tall, so you know he's serious about this kite stuff. California is full of alternative careers choices. But then Benjamin Franklin and the Wright brothers did work with kites that led to all sorts of things. Perhaps one shouldn't scoff.

Bazrod also cites clinical psychologist Sidney Walter -

 

For adults, kite flying is an expression of freedom from the grounded mundane life experiences. For children it's the same idea of freedom from control of their immediate environment. Kids can control with strings. All flying, especially the kite, is an expression of freedom and complete abandonment of earthly things.

 

For a time I dated clinical psychologist. They don't talk like that in real life. That's just how they talk to reporters from the Times.

The trip from Hollywood to the Redondo Beach Pier is a tad over twenty-one miles, but those are hard miles - either on the crazy-making 110 Freeway right through the heart of the city, or on the 405 past Los Angeles International Airport with all the befuddled travelers trying to figure out how to return their rental cars, or on surface streets though some really seedy parts of Los Angeles - but Sunday, July 30, catching a kite festival seemed to be a fine idea.

The festival site is here, and there's Mel Hickman's American Kitefliers Association and the Ventura County Kite Flyers and the Up Up & Away Kite Club down in Seal Beach. Who knew? And the
Times lists five thriving kite stores - the one on the pier in Redondo Beach, and other stores in Huntington Beach, Newport Beach, Seal Beach and Dana Point. It's an industry.

The Thirty-Second Annual Festival of the Kite

The Thirty-Second Annual Festival of the Kite

The Thirty-Second Annual Festival of the Kite

The Thirty-Second Annual Festival of the Kite

The Thirty-Second Annual Festival of the Kite

The Thirty-Second Annual Festival of the Kite

The Thirty-Second Annual Festival of the Kite

The Thirty-Second Annual Festival of the Kite

Arrive at the pier around one, find a place to park (not easy), grab the camera bag and head over to the crowd, and there are these guys doing dual acrobatics, or kite dancing, to something loud being pumped in - new age meets techno. They were having a blast, the two kits bobbing and whipping around together. The crowd cheered, but getting it right would require video, with sound. This will have to do.

The Thirty-Second Annual Festival of the Kite

The rest was just kites (one is very mysterious) -

The Thirty-Second Annual Festival of the Kite

The Thirty-Second Annual Festival of the Kite

The Thirty-Second Annual Festival of the Kite

Air traffic (the Cessna 172 is pulling a banner promoting the local comedy club) -

The Thirty-Second Annual Festival of the Kite

Wind power -

The Thirty-Second Annual Festival of the Kite

The Thirty-Second Annual Festival of the Kite
















If you use any of these photos for commercial purposes I assume you'll discuss that with me

These were shot with a Nikon D70 - using lens (1) AF-S Nikkor 18-70 mm 1:35-4.5G ED, or (2) AF Nikkor 70-300mm telephoto, or after 5 June 2006, (3) AF-S DX Zoom-Nikkor, 55-200 mm f/4-5.6G ED. They were modified for web posting using Adobe Photoshop 7.0

The original large-format raw files are available upon request.
















 
 
 
 
Copyright 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006 - Alan M. Pavlik
_______________________________________________

The inclusion of any text from others is quotation for the purpose of illustration and commentary, as permitted by the fair use doctrine of U.S. copyright law.  See the Legal Notice Regarding Fair Use for the relevant citation.
 
Timestamp for this version of this issue below (Pacific Time) -

Counter added Monday, February 27, 2006 10:38 AM

STATISTICS