July 29
Outrageous Show in Berkeley

The scene was absolutely breath-taking. On Saturday afternoon, we had no fewer than 19 large and mid-sized Lynns in the air over Ceasar Chavez Park. Traffic on nearby Interstate 80 slowed to a crawl. And all of us wore huge smiles.

Big Kite Panorama

This was the 18th annual Berkeley Kite Festival. Over the past few years, we've noticed more and more of the big ones gathering in different corners of the flying field. But this year, fliers convinced organizer Tom McAlister to free up one central flying field and let us concentrate the show.

Kite Bags

The weekend started early as we all arrived and began to offload equipment. Participants included Mike North, Joe Tait, Dave Hoggan, Dan Whitney, Al Sparling, Susan and myself. We also had plenty of helpers, including Lee Thrall and John Khan.

It was a pleasure to actually be driving to a festival for once. That meant that Susie and I were able to carry three Gecko, two bear, an Octopus, two Cats, a Ray and a Penguin.

Here's an overview of a few of the pieces we flew under blue skies and strong, steady winds:

Orange Cat Cat Stack Orange Cat

At center field, we launched Cats. This included a bright orange Tabby as well as a stack of traditional black and whites. We added a Penguin into the lineup to add a bit of comic relief. I just liked the color consistency, but more than one person remarked about the smile on the biggest Cat's face....

Gecko Train School of Rays Bear Stack

Nearby, we anchored three big Ray. Two were on the same anchor point, and interestingly, all three were all of roughly the same color design. The Rays flew high and steady throughout the day.

We also planted two giant Bear on the same point. This is the first time I'd ever seen Bear or Ray stacked together. We had a Fugu and Two Trilobites anchored side-to-side.

And finally, I added the three-pack of Mid-Gecko to the show. As much as I enjoy the big ones, middle sized kites are easier to handle and transport. And believe me, a giant Gecko is a handful. We had one of those too down at the edge of the field.

Octopusse Octopi Octopoda

At the end of the field closest to the crowd, we started to launch octopus. First one, then two and then three when up. We kept adding to the pile until things got really crazy. We had six big pieces arranged in an inverted pyramid - three - then two - then one -- with an enormous array of tentacles flowing out behind. Two middies were added in for good measure.

This incredible and unprecedented "Octo-Pile quickly became the focal point of the festival. We'd discreetly wander the walkway at the edge of the field eavesdropping on spectators to see what they'd call them. Octopussies? Octopi?? Octopoda?? (Hint -- "Octo" is Greek). Click here for an amazing view of the show.

Over the course of the weekend, there was plenty of other stuff to see in Berkeley. The event offered sport kite and kitemaking competition, rokkaku battles, demonstrations, kids kitemaking, and over 400 pounds of dropped candy. But the big kite field was unlike anything I'd ever seen before. If you've got a big one in your bag, consider putting Californian on your schedule next July.

Friday we are off again. We'll be in Quincy Michigan, and then Rehoboth Delaware the week after that. Just remember that we're checking email and phone messages several times a day. Enjoy your summer! And save us a spot on the flying field....

Gomberg Kite Productions is pleased to announce a new arrival -- G-KITES!!. This is our new line of lower priced laundry, line art, and quality kites designed to lift them.

We're planning six different tubes and tails priced at under $10 each retail. Here's the first one in -- the Diamond Tail. Designed by Susan Gomberg, it measures 12 feet long and contains 24 bright ripstop squares. Your price is $9.99 each. Color choices include rainbow, cool, warm, and Patriot. Order three of them in August and we'll give you the introductory 20% discount.

Diamond Tails

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