With the song from Walt Disney’s Mary Poppins movie playing in our heads (“Let’s go fly a kite”), we drove to Berkeley to attend the 2014 Berkeley Kite Festival.
The two day long kite festival is held in the Cesar Chavez park at the Berkeley Marina, every year since 1986. Admission to the event is free. But parking at the Marina for this event costed $15 this year. This year, you could also park at the Golden Gate Fields for $15 and take the free shuttle to the Marina.
At the festival, amateurs rub shoulders with pros and small homemade kites fly alongside sophisticated ones. Very basic free kites were also being handed out at the venue. There were events scheduled throughout the weekend – Free kite making sessions and kite flying lessons, Japanese style Rokkaku battles where hexagonal shaped kites made of bamboo and paper tried to destabilize or cut the line of other competing kites. To me, the most amazing event was the kite ballet. Having tried to fly a kite earlier in the day and experiencing how difficult that was, I was amazed by teams making kites perform routines synchronized to music.
There were a variety of food trucks with good quality food. There were booths from a variety of vendors as well – Arts & Crafts, Travel and of course kite sellers! The inflatable bouncy structures, petting zoo and pony rides were a huge draw for the kids.