August 26
Wonderful WSIKF Week

Big Kite Panorama

The consensus is that this was the best Long Beach week in years. Weather was gracious and the winds were smooth. No rain, no blow-outs, and not too much heat either. If you brought enough sunscreen, it was perfect!

Organized events ran smoothly and on time -- supported by an army of volunteers. The crowds were appreciative and the fliers were all upbeat. And there was plenty of room for open "show-flying" with anchors set in advance by the city. Each day, the show got better and better.

The general rule on the large kite field was "first-come-first-choice" of anchors. Cars arrived at 6 am and it was not unusual to see the big Suttons going up as the sun rose over the beach. Early risers included Doc Counce, Tom Lowther, Bill Burley, Harley Ryan, Terry Lee, and Brian Champie. The big inflatables and long tube tails provided a ceiling for the show that grew below.

Sutton Show Sutton Show Sutton Show

Under the Suttons, a huge display of our rotating Crowns began to evolve. It became one of the largest Crown Shows I've ever seen. At one point, seven of the 28 foot bols were in the air with contributions from Andy Tauber, Scott Slater, Ed Jensen, and Ben D'Antonio .

Crown Show Crown Show Crown Show

Of course, Long Beach is much more than a big kite show. Organized events on the main field include rok battles, sport kite demos, fighter kite contests, parades, and one of the most intense kitemaking gatherings in the country. Here are a few examples of kites that graced the skies.

Handcrafted Kites Handcrafted Kites Handcrafted Kites
Handcrafted Kites Handcrafted Kites Handcrafted Kites
Handcrafted Kites Handcrafted Kites Handcrafted Kites

Saturday night, an auction was held to benefit the World Kite Museum. As lead auctioneer, I had over 100 items to sell. Even at 90 seconds each, that's a three hour program! But we finished with ten minutes to spare and an extra $10,000 in the Museum's account.

Matthew Vohs

For the first part of the week I had some special help.

Matthew Vohs, son of our AKA Convention manager, came down to the beach to help drag, stuff, tote, and anchor our flying display. We're hoping he'll be able to join us at future festivals as well.

Susie and I also played a small role in the launch of an enormous American Flag. The complete size was 100 feet long and more than 60 feet wide.

Next week, we'll show you more photos and tell the whole story.

Big Flag

It was a great week in Long Beach and now we're home for all of 14 days before heading to Marseilles France. Then there is the local festival here in Lincoln City, before we head to AKA. See you out there!!

Fun Size Octopus! We're stocked up on the 'micros' and would rather see them in your sky than on our shelf.

These are the 12 foot, "Fun Size" fliers that normally sell for $70. We've got red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple, violet, and black. And through September 14, we'll take off 20%.

Click here for more details..

Mid Trilobite

Please Note: There was one unfortunate note from Long Beach. Several bags disappeared from the flying area containing a variety of PL kites including medium and small Octopus, Rays, and Gecko. If you become aware of kites being offered for sale, please let us know and we'll contact the owner. A reward is being offered for their safe return.

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