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Wednesday, January 23 , 2019, 1:30 pm | Fair 61º


Fun Is In the Air as Santa Barbara Kite Festival Takes to the Skies Over SBCC

Ignoring forecast of rain, hundreds let fly a diverse array of kites at family-friendly 31st annual festival

Kites resembling butterflies and spacecraft were among those being flown Sunday at the 31st annual Santa Barbara Kite Festival on the Santa Barbara City College’s West Campus. Click to view larger
Kites resembling butterflies and spacecraft were among those being flown Sunday at the 31st annual Santa Barbara Kite Festival on the Santa Barbara City College’s West Campus. (Sam Goldman / Noozhawk)

[Click here for a related Noozhawk photo gallery.]

Local kite enthusiasts flooded Santa Barbara City College’s West Campus on Sunday for the 31st annual Santa Barbara Kite Festival.

Despite the persistent threat of rain and the scarce traces of blue in the sky, kites in the shapes of birds, butterflies, planes and ships took to the air alongside Star Wars-, Ninja Turtle- and Frozen-themed crafts.

Several hundred people came out for the family-oriented event, where children under 10 constituted half the turnout.

Families put out beach towels and lawn chairs and lounged around on the West Campus lawn, which hosted booths for henna body art and face painting, a bounce house for kids, an ice cream truck, and kiosks for buying kites and toys.

“We have a little boy who’s a little over 2 years old,” said Ben Manski of Carpinteria, a UC Santa Barbara Ph.D. student who came with his wife and son.

“We came down last year. He had a great time; we told him the kite festival was happening again, and he wanted to come.”

Handmade and commercial kites and their fliers competed in a number of contests throughout the afternoon, including Most Unusual Kite, Highest Flying Kite and Best Ground Display.

For two minutes toward the end of the afternoon, attendees gathered in a cordoned-off section of the lawn and let loose as much line as they could to see whose kite could soar highest in the breeze.

“It’s a wonderful event for the Santa Barbara community,” Manski said.

“We moved here from Wisconsin three years ago, and there are a lot of events that are family-friendly in the area,” he added. “You don’t have to have kids to come, but you still see there are a lot of children here. So I think it’s a great thing, and I just saw it’s the 31st year, so obviously it’s become an institution in the community.”

April has been designated Kite Month in the city since the Santa Barbara City Council approved a proclamation in 2007.

Noozhawk staff writer Sam Goldman can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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