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Tuesday, March 19 , 2019, 2:23 am | Fog/Mist 53º


Colorful Characters Catch Wind and Brighten the Skies for Annual Kite Festival at SBCC

Dreary conditions don't put a damper on family-friendly event, drawing hundreds of kite fliers from all over

[Click here for a Noozhawk photo gallery from the event.]

SpongeBob SquarePants, Barbie, Buzz Lightyear, Spiderman, Yoda and other creatures flew high above — and not so high — Santa Barbara City College’s West Campus, where the 28th annual Santa Barbara Kite Festival was held Sunday.

Vibrant kites in all shapes and sizes dotted the gray sky as host David Hefferman walked the grounds, engaging the 300 to 400 of people gazing high from their blankets spread out on the bluffs. The overcast day seemed not to affect the willingness of kite fans to come and fly.

“They bring people together,” Hefferman said about kites. “We’re all too connected to our phones and we should be connected to a kite instead.”

Hot dogs and snacks were sold to those who got hungry and didn’t bring their own picnic food. Two bounce houses were blown up for children who preferred keeping their eyes on the ground. Those who forgot their kites, or any accessories needed to fly their tethered aircrafts, could purchase it at a vendor booth.

Hefferman said he has participated in the festival for 24 years, witnessing families gathering and kids putting their “dreams on a string.”

“I think it’s as fundamental to family play as learning how to ride a bike,” he told Noozhawk. “We all have tales of one kite that got away.”

Superheroes, dragons, ladybugs and other forms of kites took to the sky as Hefferman walked around announcing entrants in competitions like “the most beautiful,” “the highest flying” and “the biggest one.”

“Not everyday we get to fly the kite,” said 4-year-old Paige Huggins, who traveled from Simi Valley with her parents, grandparents and 2-year-old brother just to attend the festival.

“It’s so hard it keeps tripping on the ground,” the young kiter said of her entry.

Her colorful butterfly with a yellow tail won the title as the most beautiful kite. The prize was a dinner for four at Los Arroyos.

“Usually, we come every year,” said Paige’s mother, Dee Dee. “It’s just a really nice, family-fun thing to do.”

The festival takes place around the same time every year in April — proclaimed Kite Month in Santa Barbara by the City Council in 2007.

Noozhawk intern Gabriella Slabiak 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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