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Weather permitting: Kites soar during annual festival

A group of kite fliers from British Columbia and Washington practice during the Whidbey Island Kite Festival Saturday at Camp Casey Conference Center.  - Megan Hansen photo
A group of kite fliers from British Columbia and Washington practice during the Whidbey Island Kite Festival Saturday at Camp Casey Conference Center.
— image credit: Megan Hansen photo

Sporadic weather didn’t stop Whidbey Island Fliers last weekend from putting on another kite festival.

“It is tough when the weather is tough,” said organizer Lisa Root. “I think we had good support and turnout.”

Rain held out Saturday, giving competitive fliers the chance to take to the field in precision and ballet competitions.

Root said because of weather predictions most of the competitions were held Saturday.

“We had to move competition up to Saturday to get them done,” Root said.

Saturday offered breaks of sun and scatter clouds, but minimal wind. At times it completely dropped off.

The two teams of Revolution fliers didn’t get to compete. Revolutions are four-stringed kites often used in synchronized flying. Root is a member of the Oddsquad, a Whidbey-based Revolution team.

“The wind just wasn’t what my team could fly in,” she said.

The other team, Island Quad, made up of fliers from British Columbia and Washington, were able to get a bit of flying in on Saturday, but not for competition.

Sunday offered strong winds and scattered showers.

Weather didn’t detour many attending the event Sunday.

“It was really surprising to me,” Root said. “The wind was blowing so hard Sunday.”

While the weather didn’t cooperate for a children’s event called a “Teddy Bear Drop,” organizers turned the event into a Teddy Bear Toss.

Root said at least a dozen kids attended Sunday and walked away with a teddy bear.

Children visited a kids kite making booth both days where they walked away with a hand-made kite. The wind was strong enough to fly the light-weight kites, and children flew them in an open flying field and wherever else they could find.

“I think all in all there were a good amount of people there and we put on a good show with the weather we had,” she said.

Nearly 300 prizes were donated for the raffle, the club’s main fundraiser for the year. Prizes were donated from kite vendors as well as residents and businesses in and around Coupeville.

 

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