Berkeley Kite Fest

At the Berkeley Kite Festival it seems that a fresh surprise awaits around every corner. In one amphitheater you’ll find multi-line competitions of the Bay Area Sport Kite League. In another you’ll find events and other competitions, such as the candy drops and rokkaku battles. Look to the north and you will see the traditional kites of our special guests from the Sode-cho Kite-Flying Society of Hamamatsu, Japan. In the upper field you’ll enjoy the giant creature kite show of the Berkeley Kite Wranglers and Friends.

Just down the hill from the Wrangler Field, visitors can get hands-on demonstrations of all the latest products from Ozone Kites, Revolution Kites and Prism Designs. Backing up the demo fields is the giant tent, where you can get the best kites. Behind the kite tent you’ll see hundreds of kids enjoying the free kite making and behind them, a designated area along the ridge for families and their kites.

Each area of the festival will give you a different taste of what kiting has to offer. If you find that your stomach should start to growl, simply follow ridgeline west to the widest array of food offerings ever seen at the BKF. Need a full meal? How about sushi, Thai food or seafood? Just want a snack? How about corn on the cob, pretzels or our favorite, Ben & Jerry’s ice cream? Everything looks so good, you’ll wish you could have one of each!

The Kits of Hamamatsu, Japan
Highlighting this year’s festival are the kites of Hamamatsu, Japan. Their traditional “Machijirushi” kites are indigenous to Hamamatsu and are made from fine paper and bamboo. You’ll meet Japan’s master kite builders and be astounded by their centuries old traditional kite designs. Local organizers from Tako Age and the Berkeley Kite Festival are honored to have the president of the Japan Kite Association, Masaaki Modegi, joining the 2010 delegation to the Berkeley Kite Festival.

World Renowned Show Kite Teams Join Forces to set new world record!
The Berkeley Kite Wrangler Giant Show Kite Team is joining forces with the Gomberg Kite Production Team and other local fliers in an attempt to break the world record for the largest number of Giant Octopus Kites ever flown together anywhere! The two world famous show kite teams were part of the last two record setting Octopiles, and they are excited to be coming together to set a new record. Joining The Gomberg’s team is new member Dale Ray. Dale has an amazing collection giant creature kites including six octopi. With Dale, David (and his wife Susan) and the Berkeley Kite Wranglers and friends coming together, there will easily be enough kites on hand to make a record setting attempt. If the weather conditions cooperate, the old record of 21 kites will be shattered forever.

Berkeley Kite Fest
July 31 – August 1, 10:00am – 5:00pm
César Chávez Park

Always at the End of July
Free Admission

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Monica Turner
Contributor to Stark Insider for tech, the arts and All Things West Coast for over 10 years.