August 28
Long Beach Haze

They call it "WS-KIF" -- the Washington State International Kite Festival. But most folks just refer to it as Long Beach.

There were tons of great kites in Long Beach this year, and tons of great people too. So I'm guessing there were a whole lot of really lousy pictures taken. All week long the mist hung over the kite field blanketing the background of every photo in a dull gray.

Festival Panorama

This is the largest festival in the country with events stretching across an entire week. On "handcrafted day" an amazing array of kites made by the fliers took to the air.

Competition Kites Competition Kites Competition Kites Competition Kites
Competition Kites Competition Kites

There was also plenty of room for giant kites to flex their muscles in a separate part of the beach. In fact, it is fair to say that there were actually three festivals underway with competition and demonstrations in one arena, large displays in another, and a huge fighter kite competition in a third. As long as you could find a motel room, there was something for everyone.

Big Kites Big Kites Big Kites

A parking area stretched down between the flying zones so that fliers lucky enough to qualify for a pass could get their gear close to the fields. Of course, you need to get to the beach by 7 am to score a decent spot.

Banners on the Beach Banners on the Beach

Banners and tents traditionally line the road creating an amazing show even when the wind drops off. Clubs, teams, and individuals compete to create "Terrific Territories" each day with prestigious trophies awarded at the end of the week.

Banners on the Beach Banners on the Beach Banners on the Beach Banners on the Beach Banners on the Beach

We usually don't get down to WSIKF until mid-week. There is just too much work to be done in the office. But even missing half of it leaves us with five very full days of kiting.

Back home the sky was clear and the sun warm. It figures that the only part of the Northwest Coast socked in was where the kite flying was clustered. But for 21 years, we've been going anyway and we'll be back next year again. I've already got hotel reservations and have applied for a parking pass...

Susie and I are home for a week and then head out to France. Our offices will be closed from September 5 to 17. As usual, we'll be checking email but won't be able to do any shipping. So if you want something for the middle of the month, better call us soon.

Ye-haw!

We're planning a kite tour of China in April 2003 with stops in Shanghai, Xingdao, Beijing, and the incredible kite festival of Weifang

Here is your chance to fly on the Great Wall, march in the huge processions, or explore the Forbidden City. We'll also be touring kite factories and stores each step of the way.

The price for 12 days is $100 a day for lodging, all meals, guides, and transportation. Remember that Susie is coming so the accommodations will definitely be good. You'll also need a plane ticket which usually costs about a thousand dollars. That's $2200 total for a life-changing experience. Sure, its a lot of money. But a week in Cincinnati could cost you about the same...

Great Wall

For more details, check our Tour Overview. You can also link there from our Main Page Index.

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