Portsmouth International Kite Festival celebrates 25th anniversary

Kirsty Joyner, Felix Charles and Vicky Ashton with plenty of choice at Portsmouth Gin Festival     Pictures: Habibur Rahman

That’s the spirit! Gin festival is a tonic for the connoisseurs

  • Annual Kite Festival takes place on Southsea Common
  • Crowd numbers are estimated close to 10,000
  • Impressive kites included models of Batman and Superman
  • Kite flyers from across the world performed
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THOUSANDS of people flocked to Southsea Common to witness some of the world’s best kites flying high across the skies.

Portmouth International Kite festival celebrated its 25th anniversary and, as ever, the event was hugely popular.

Ian Venman (from Fleet) flies a Trilobite kite 
Picture: Mick Young
 (161077-07)

Ian Venman (from Fleet) flies a Trilobite kite Picture: Mick Young (161077-07)

Brenda Critchell said: ‘It is brilliant.

‘We come every year and there’s more kites than last year.’

Belinda Chambers said: ‘We’ve missed the last few years but it is a great event.’

Inflatable Batman, Superman and Aladdin designs were just three of many incredible kites that soared in the air overlooking the Solent.

‘This is the biggest kite festival in the UK and we attract flyers from all of the world to come and perform.

Jon Bloom

Jon Bloom, who helped organise the event, said: ‘The kites here today have come on leaps and bounds since we started 25 years ago as they just used to be stick kites.

‘This is the biggest kite festival in the UK and we attract flyers from all over the world to come and perform.

‘Conditions are perfect today for flying. Despite popular belief, you do not want it too windy and it’s still sunny enough for people to come out and enjoy the day.’

Around 8,000 people were estimated to have attended the event and organisers were relieved all went smoothly.

161077-06 kites
Kite Festival, Southsea Common.
Pic Mick Young
14/08/2016 PPP-160814-172442006

161077-06 kites Kite Festival, Southsea Common. Pic Mick Young 14/08/2016 PPP-160814-172442006

Heather Todd, assistant events manager at Portsmouth City Council, said: ‘A lot of planning in advance goes into creating the event.

‘You have a plan in your head, so it’s good to see everything come together.

‘It has always been popular and it’s a free event.

‘There’s a free kite-making workshop for children and then they practice flying them afterwards.’

Florian Janich travelled from Munster for the festival

Florian Janich travelled from Munster for the festival

Lord Mayor of Portsmouth, Councillor David Fuller, said: ‘This is a fantastic free event and everyone has been saying how well organised it is.

‘It’s also benefiting a lot of local charities, who have their stalls set up.’

Robert van Weers travelled all the way from New Zealand to perform.

He said: ‘This is the 15th year I have come here and it always gets a fantastic turn out.

‘I started flying kites in 1983 when seeing a festival in Amsterdam. I built a kit I bought and have been flying ever since. Life is about living and travelling to fly kites lets me – and I’m performing at a festival in Malaysia on my way home.’

The Brighton Kite Flyers fly a string of 60 kites

The Brighton Kite Flyers fly a string of 60 kites