Saturday, February 2, 2013—Last Annual SPI Kite Festival

130202_EAn early start this morning with Al, Sharon, Wayne, and Bessie took us to South Padre Island for their Kite Festival; it is to be their last. The hour and a half ride was quite pleasant, with lots of conversation among the six of us in Al’s van. We arrived early enough to get great seats along the rope just before the kite flying began; from left to right, sitting, are Al Crawford, and Bessie and Wayne Nickerson. 130202_E-22Kites of all shapes, sizes, and colors were visible; some were so large that they had to be anchored by automobiles.

Apparently, kite flying is very competitive, and we were privileged to see some of the best flyers in the US. Also, much of the competition is between teams, and we saw two world champion teams flying as many as six kites simultaneously, 130202_E-10doing unbelievable aerial maneuvers and acrobatics with a kites. The kites danced at the end of the lines, and the flyers could softly touch each other’s kites in the sophisticated formations. Each of the demonstrations was set to music and the maneuvers and acrobatics were synchronized with the various tunes. Watching the experts fly their kites gave this sport new meaning, and made it look simple.

With over 5,000 people in attendance at the Kite Festival, all the restaurants on the Island were overwhelmed; we opted to try our luck across the bay in Port Isabel. Traffic on the bridge between Port Isabel and South Padre Island was congested with the roadwork forcing three lanes of traffic into one. After the slow trip on the bridge, we stopped at Dirty Al’s on the bay for a late lunch and were met with a one-hour wait. Nevertheless, the food was very good and not too expensive.

We made our way back to Bentsen Palm Village, all having had too much sun. In fact, Kay and I skipped card bingo.

More kite photos, and our entire Winter Texas album, can be seen at:

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