Bright colors fill West Campus sky at 32nd annual Kite Festival

KELSEY LOPEZ, Channels Staff

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The sky above the West Campus lawn was covered with brightly colored kites of different shapes and sizes soaring overhead Sunday.

This sight was due to the 32nd Annual Santa Barbara Kite Festival that was held from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday on the West Campus Lawn, where people could fly their kites or watch the display in the sky. This year’s festival theme was “It’s time to fly!”

Each kite had its own unique design and people from every age could be seen flying them. Whether it was a small boy flying for his first time, his parent or even grandparents, everyone was enjoying the festival.

“My favorite part was getting to fly my ‘Iron Man’ kite,” said 5-year-old Matthew Juarez, who was accompanied by his aunt Amanda Cantu, and was experiencing the festival for the first time.

Some people brought their own kites while others bought them at the booth where beginners kites ranging from $5 to $15 could be found. There were also more advanced kites ranging from $20 to $35.

For those who were not flying, the festival also offered other activities such as face painting, fun with clowns, kite decorating, and booths where kids could purchase toys. Food was available for purchase and the Kona Ice truck was also there to sell rainbow-colored shaved ice.

Many local families were in attendance, but one family in particular traveled all the way from Virginia to Santa Barbara for a week. David Bryson and his daughter Madison were happy to attend the festival and got to enjoy the different activities.

This festival has been recognized by the Santa Barbara City Council for being a great opportunity for families and children to get together and have some fun while getting to spend time with the local community as well.

The festival has grown since it began and many new kite flying contests were added. Popular contests returned like Most Beautiful, Sport Flying, Largest, Smallest, Kite Fighting and Highest Flying. All winners won prizes and were able to show off their skills and designs.

Admission was free and most festival goers stayed until the end of the five to six hour event.
“This is our fourth year coming,” festival attendee Thomas Oretsky said. “The kids love coming and just have so much fun. We will definitely be coming back next year.”

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