Colourful kites graced Southsea skyline

From left, Jacob Kennard, Gavin Moon, Ian Doyle and Sarah Talboys-Smith with Shanon Rees and Rodney Watson at the front
 at the Southsea Village in Palmerston Road Picture: Habibur Rahman

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Is it a bird, is it a plane? No, it’s the skyline over Southsea Common filled with soaring kites!

In its 24th year, the International Kite Festival made a welcome return to Southsea Common over the weekend.

Crowds flocked to the 2015 International Kite Festival held on Southsea Common.'Picture Ian Hargreaves  (151391-4)

Crowds flocked to the 2015 International Kite Festival held on Southsea Common.'Picture Ian Hargreaves (151391-4)

Over the two days it is thought around 40,000 people visited the free event.

Lizzie Meager, 47, of Horn Beam Road, Denvilles, went with her son Jacob, five.

She said: ‘This is our fourth year visiting and we really love it.

‘It has a real family-friendly atmosphere. It’s easy to get to, easy to park and free to come along to. It’s a great way to pass the time and there were some absolutely amazing kites on display.

‘There was a total mixture of kites – there were traditional styles as well as the bigger balloon ones.

‘Jacob enjoyed flying his knight kite, which we brought for him at a previous festival.

From a giant Batman and Catwoman, to Casper the Friendly Ghost and dragons and witches, scores of designs adorned the sky.

This year there was a theme of mythical and magical creatures.

Students, Hector Huo and Aletta Yang have fun at the Kite Festival  (151391-10)

Students, Hector Huo and Aletta Yang have fun at the Kite Festival (151391-10)

There were kite displays to music, stalls selling kite goodies, refreshments and giant bouncy castle slides.

Emma Duncan, 36, of Kestrel Close, Bishop’s Waltham, went with her sons Kristian, seven, and Elliott, two.

She said: ‘The festival was recommended by a friend at work and it was our first time.

‘We really enjoyed it. What was great was there was something for everyone and made it a real cross-generation free event.

15/08/15  PM''Crowds flock to the 2015 International Kite Festival held on Southsea Common.'Picture Ian Hargreaves  (151391-9) PPP-150815-175118006

15/08/15 PM''Crowds flock to the 2015 International Kite Festival held on Southsea Common.'Picture Ian Hargreaves (151391-9) PPP-150815-175118006

‘The weather was good so that helped and we enjoyed the displays and checking out the stalls.’

It was touch-and-go on whether the family-fun orientated event would be held due to financial reasons, however company Unbeatable Car signed up as headline sponsors, and helped bring the festival to the Common.

Other sponsors were Hendy Ford and Fostering in Portsmouth.

Each year the festival has been organised by the Kite Society of Great Britain.

Jon Bloom, of the society, said: ‘We always get tremendous support from Portsmouth City Council, from kite-fliers, members of the public, and this year Unbeatable Car.

‘It’s great to see different kites, including some from abroad such as America, France, Italy, Germany, Holland, Malaysia and China.

15/08/15  PM''Crowds flock to the 2015 International Kite Festival held on Southsea Common.'Picture Ian Hargreaves  (151391-13) PPP-150815-175248006

15/08/15 PM''Crowds flock to the 2015 International Kite Festival held on Southsea Common.'Picture Ian Hargreaves (151391-13) PPP-150815-175248006

‘Next year is our 25th year and we hope to mark the event by doing something very special.

‘We just need to secure the funding for it.’

Karen Brar, marketing officer for Unbeatable Car said it was ‘amazing’.

15/08/15  PM''Crowds flock to the 2015 International Kite Festival held on Southsea Common. Gregg Curran with his children Joseph Curran (six), and Mason Powell (three).'Picture Ian Hargreaves  (151391-14) PPP-150815-175410006

15/08/15 PM''Crowds flock to the 2015 International Kite Festival held on Southsea Common. Gregg Curran with his children Joseph Curran (six), and Mason Powell (three).'Picture Ian Hargreaves (151391-14) PPP-150815-175410006

15/08/15  PM''Crowds flock to the 2015 International Kite Festival held on Southsea Common.'Picture Ian Hargreaves  (151391-15) PPP-150815-175421006

15/08/15 PM''Crowds flock to the 2015 International Kite Festival held on Southsea Common.'Picture Ian Hargreaves (151391-15) PPP-150815-175421006

15/08/15  PM''Crowds flock to the 2015 International Kite Festival held on Southsea Common.'Picture Ian Hargreaves  (151391-16) PPP-150815-175445006

15/08/15 PM''Crowds flock to the 2015 International Kite Festival held on Southsea Common.'Picture Ian Hargreaves (151391-16) PPP-150815-175445006

15/08/15  PM''Crowds flock to the 2015 International Kite Festival held on Southsea Common.'Picture Ian Hargreaves  (151391-18) PPP-150815-175507006

15/08/15 PM''Crowds flock to the 2015 International Kite Festival held on Southsea Common.'Picture Ian Hargreaves (151391-18) PPP-150815-175507006