Dancing kites thrill spectators

High-fliers wow crowd at Neale Park festival

Last updated 13:00 20/01/2014
Nelson Summer Kite Festival
PATRICK HAMILTON/NELSON MAIL
UP WHERE THE AIR IS CLEAR: Kites fly during the 23rd annual Nelson Summer Kite Festival in Neale Park yesterday.

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Nelson's Summer Kite Festival had action on the ground as well as in the air.

Children at Neale Park yesterday got to explore inside the belly of Hootie the Blowfish, which was a bit like being in a sauna on the hot sunny day, and Roy Steffert of Richmond skilfully whizzed tandem passengers around the field in his kite buggy.

But it was the dancing kites in the air that most thrilled the hundreds of spectators.

Festival organisers Ted and Gretchen Howard said conditions could not have been better.

"This is what Nelson is known for and what kite flyers come here for," said Mrs Howard.

The festival attracted 20 flyers from as far as Ashburton, Christchurch, Greymouth and Wellington who wowed the crowd with their big kites.

Mrs Howard's favourites were the two horses that galloped across the sky, brought to Nelson by Ashburton kite maker Peter Lynn and his team.

The 30-metre long spin sock, designed by American kite makers Catch the Wind, which spun off a line intrigued many spectators.

Then there was a whale, a squid, monkeys, a giant sun and a red heart amongst the myriad kites.

At the end of the festival the wind was still blowing, making it hard work to bring down the big ones. They will be back for the 24th festival next year.

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