Autumn is virtually upon us, with a slight nip in the air and a strong breeze, so what better way to spend the first weekend in September than at a kite festival?! This year’s 26th Bristol International Festival of Kites & Air Creations was held at the usual popular venue of Ashton Court, and did not disappoint. Spectators and kite enthusiasts alike were treated to an amazing aerial extravaganza of displays from all over the world. Registered kite designers and flyers travelled from as far as Australia, Thailand, Russia, Kuwait and New Zealand to showcase their weird and wonderful creations at the festival.
Families, couples, single enthusiasts with their own kites and every kind of spectator imaginable congregated to watch the beauty of these very colourful and clever creations. Once any newcomers to the event had recovered from the idea they may be instantly garotted by a passing kite string, or picked themselves up from falling over a tent–peg (of which there were many), they were instantly enamoured by the surprisingly action packed schedule of events in the main arena.
The central display area featured spectacular flying routines, kite-flying battles, fantastic “Red Arrows”-styled synchronised shows performed to music and a huge showcase of amazing power kites accompanied by air sculptures of every description imaginable.
On Saturday afternoon, there was an attempt to break the world record for the biggest ever kite to take to the skies. The ‘Manta Ray’ briefly became air borne, but conditions were such that it’s 180ft bright pink structure fell short of the 20 minute flying requirements set out by officials.
Old favourites such as the sea themed kites pleased the crowds; including the famous Mermaid and Scuba diver (both around 25 feet long and seemingly huge in the sky), and Roly the mega whale. Popular shaped kites amused adults and children alike, such as the flying bears, birds,cats, dogs and tigers; most of which made by New Zealand festival veteran Peter Lynn.
Nearing teatime on Sunday evening, just as one would imagine the festival threads to be winding down for another year, the world champion Scratch Bunnies appear to give one last display of kite acrobats to a thumping drama of music. Everyone is enthralled and thus, the 26th International Kite Festival draws to a timely close as the rain clouds just begin to roll in.
Tess Egerton 2011 ©
For further information on Home grown Kite fun see below:
Make Your Own Kites