Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Long Beach Kite Festival 2010

Our first day in Washington was spent largely relaxing at the house, picking up foster kitties from the local shelter, catching up on my votes, and finally heading down to the beach for an introduction to the Washington International Kite Festival. It was an overcast day, but the kite fliers weren't daunted. Today was tube day - anything tubular was welcome to fly. Plus there were demonstrations of various kite flying styles and a Rokkaku kite fighting competition.

I'd heard of Rokkaku before and was curious about it. I thought it would be an intense, high-speed event involving those trick-style kites you see ripping and roaring through the air at local beaches and parks. Turns out, it is THE slowest, quietest fight you've ever seen in your life. If ever there were a relaxing fight, this is it. The kites glide in the gentle breeze, and while the teams work to encircle each others lines to pull opponents' kites to the ground or cut their opponents' lines, onlookers who don't watch the teams on the ground can be a bit lost. It was all very slow to me 'til I started watching the folks on the ground. That's where the fun really started. They talk to each other, talk amongst their teammates to plot, and when it's over, they congratulate each other, cheer in delight, and there's a lot of laughter and joy in it.

Tomorrow - Kids n' Seniors Day.

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