Lift your spirits at the Lynch
Canyon Kite Festival
According to the American Kitefliers Association, kites were
first flown over 2,000 years ago in China; since then, kites have been used
around the world to fight evil spirits, bless harvests, carry messages, study
science, win wars, promote peace, and bring joy.
Nowadays there are kite festivals around the world, and
there are at least two in our local area each year: the Lynch Canyon Kite
Festival and the Berkeley Kite Festival.
The 7th Annual Lynch Canyon Kite Festival will be
on Saturday, April 11th from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Lynch Canyon Open Space Park.
It is the legacy of Mike Rydjord (1946 – 2013) who had many connections to
flight and flying. Lynch Canyon, where Mike was a tour guide, is part of the
Pacific Flyway for birds and is home to the White-tailed Kite, a bird of prey
known for its “kiting” – hovering up to 80 feet off the ground, facing into the
wind, then dropping straight down to catch its prey. Nearby is Travis Air Force
Base, where Mike was a C-5 pilot; he was also a flight instructor in his career
in the Air Force. This will be my fifth time at the Lynch Canyon Kite Festival
and I look forward to it every year. The day is a celebration of all different
colors, sizes and shapes; floating and flight; family and friends; and Lynch
Canyon’s green grassy hills and fields. Each of my five years we have had the
good fortune of bay breezes and sunshine to lift our kites and our spirits. I
love hearing laughter in the air, and this year for lunch I plan to hike up to
Mike’s memorial bench to take in the view of all the kites soaring in the air
above and all the people enjoying themselves below.
Another local festival will be the 30th Annual Berkeley Kite
Festival & West Coast Kite Championships the last weekend of July at the
Berkeley Marina. My family and I went for the first time last year and we were
blown away by the size of kites and the talent of kitefliers. In particular, my
nephew and I were mesmerized by the octopus kites as big as houses flying in
the sky above.
www.kite.org and www.nationalkitemonth.org are great
resources to learn more about kiting. Places to buy kites include Old City
Kites, online at www.kitesatoldcity.com
and in historic Old Sacramento; Benicia Kite and Paddle Sports on the Benicia
waterfront; Highline Kites online at www.highlinekites.com
and on the Berkeley Marina; Chinatown Kite Shop online at www.chinatownkite.com and in San
Francisco’s Chinatown; and San Francisco Kite Company online at www.sfkites.com and between Pier 39 and
Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco.
I hope you’ll join us at the Lynch Canyon Kite
Festival this April, and visit the Berkeley Kite Festival in July. Learn more
at www.solanolandtrust.org and www.berkeleykitefestival.com. Happy