Kite Fest Delights Crowds on SPI

Some of the hundreds of spectators who showed up for the event held the first weekend in  February. Photo: Tony Vindell/LFN

Some of the hundreds of spectators who showed up for the event held the first weekend in February. Photo: Tony Vindell/LFN

by Tony Vindell/LFN

A flying octopus, shark, and even a humpback whale could be seen above the skies on the north end of South Padre Island.

Was it a new season of the popular TV show called Sharknado airing here?

Not quite!

It was actually Kite Fest 2018 – an event that makes one’s imagination fly and one that has to be seen to believe it.

More than two dozen kite flying professionals delighted a crowd that braved the cool weather and high winds on Friday, Feb. 2 and Saturday, Feb. 3, although the weather was a lot better on the second day of the fest.

The people who entered the fest were not there to compete but to show the audience how skillful they are at flying the kites, some of which kind of looked like psychedelic bats.

The participants came from all over the United States and from Canada.
Michael Boswell, who came from an Austin-based group called End of the Line team, said they have been coming to the Island since the first Kite Fest was held in the late 1980s.

“We travel all over the country,” he said, “and I would say this one of the best kite fests.”

Boswell said the prevailing winds here are one of a kind and this makes kite maneuvering more challenging.

They make the flying devices do pyrotechnics. Others danced to the sound of particular music played on loudspeakers.

San Dubach, a Kansas woman who has been coming to the Rio Grande Valley for the last seven years, said she has been at other kite fests before.

“We love it,” she said. “That is why we are here despite this c—- weather.”

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