Sunday, February 11, 2018

South Padre Island Kite Festival

We have officially lengthened our stay in South Texas for a second month--which will be our longest stay in one park ever. The activities in the park are keeping us busy during the week. But during the weekend we are always looking for fun and festivals in our surrounding area. We put the South Padre Island Kite Festival on the calendar weeks ago. But Saturday morning dawned cloudy and foggy, and we wondered if we would even be able to see the kites after our hour-long drive to South Padre Island. As we crossed the bridge to the island, the fog concealed our destination. (Incidentally, we weren't in danger because the lights weren't flashing. We took the picture below as part of our Spanish homework to bring Spanish phrases to class. We are proud to report that we were rewarded with a chocolate for being good students and completing our homework.)

Even though it was cloudy, we could see the kites clearly once we got to the festival grounds on South Padre Island. These over-sized kites were hovering overhead, and reminded us more of hot air balloons rather than kites.

The 10 mph winds at the beach kept the flags flying and the big kites in the air when we first arrived.

We got our chairs set up among the thousands of other festival-goers. We're here with Denisa's Mother, Betty.

We watched as professional kite flyers made their kites dance across the sky in choreographed programs.

These people come from all over the country. In the introductions, we heard flyers announced from New Jersey, Washington, Oregon, and even all the way from Texas.

We arrived just in time for the mega-event--twelve kite flyers doing an intricate choreography together. At the bottom center of the picture below, you can see the twelve flyers on the ground. There were lots of other kites in the sky, making it harder to get a clean photograph of the dozen kites that were racing and chasing across the sky.

We don't understand how they could place those kites in intricate positions in the sky without getting those long kite strings tangled, but they did.

They could also land them gently to the ground, in a perfectly straight line.

By this time, the winds had diminished down to less than 5 mph--unheard of this close to the gulf waters. All the big decorative kites were down on the ground, because there just wasn't enough breeze to keep them air-borne. But the announcer said this was perfect weather for trick kite-flying, allowing the flyers to do intricate moves that normal gulf winds wouldn't allow. There was just enough breeze to keep this six-piece kite in the air.

It was being flown by Connor Doran. We had seen him a couple years ago as one of the 12 finalists on the television show--"America Has Talent." His indoor kite flying was a success on the show, and he has continued to use his talent to raise funds for Epilepsy Awareness.

We spent a couple hours enjoying the festival, learning more about the world of kiting. It made us remember our few feeble attempts at getting a kite in the air when our sons were young. How do these people make it look so easy? We're glad we made the trip to South Padre on this questionable-weather day that turned out to be perfect!

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