August 29, 2007
The Rain and Spain: Long Beach

The Washington State International Kites Festival - WSIKF or just Long Beach for short – remains the biggest and best kite show in America. This week long extravaganza features every kind of kite on a huge beach. It has been running strong for 26 years.

At Long Beach you can find art kites, mass ascensions, sport kite competition, rok battles, banner displays, parades, fireworks, fighter kites, and big kite shows.

WSIKF

They run events for kids on one day and for seniors on another. They have international guests from Israel, Australia, Spain, and Nepal. They have the largest fighter kite contests in the western world. They have the World Kite Museum and Hall of Fame. And unfortunately, this year, they had rain.

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We’d just launched the giant Crown Show in the main arena when the drizzle started. (The only thing worse than wet kites is wet and sandy kites.) I was on the microphone to introduce the kiter parade, mayor, and special guests. After that, I was supposed to coordinate three heats of rokkaku fighting. By then, it was coming down hard and all of us were completely soaked.

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The odd thing about Northwest weather is that you can have mist and clouds in the morning, and clear skies for sunset. And with a full week to fly, you can head for your hotel and take a break of things turn damp one day.

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The official invited guests this year were Pedro and Estaban González of Valencia Spain. You’ve seen “The Brothers” kites in the Update before. Suffice it to say that they arrived in Washington on Sunday and by Tuesday, were best friends with everyone. Their kites were magnificent and they brought humor, charm, and warmth to the beach even on cloudy days.

González  Kites Dieppe Kiss González  Kites

Susie and I are relaxing at home for a few weeks before we begin the whirlwind of September/October. I’m headed for Lunen, Germany on the 17th, to Niagara on the 27th, to AKA on the 1st, to the Lincoln City Fall Festival on the 13th and possibly to Cape Town, South Africa, on the 15th. It’s gonna be crazy, but I’m looking forward to it all. See you out there somewhere!

So have you been coveting that huge Spanish Devil every time I post pictures of it from the big festivals of Europe??

Pedro and Esteban made a brand new Devil for Long Beach and left him with me. We’re looking for a new home and interviewing potential owners. The application fee is $4750 and the first one to apply wins!

This is a big kite – about 90 feet long with a number of interesting design features like adjustable bridles and inflation/deflation zippers, and a retractable lifter loop. It flies without a pilot will do better in light or gusty winds with one.

Let me knoiw if you want the very first big Devil in North America

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