Enjoy a high-flying time at city’s free kite festival

Kites fly at the annual festival
Kites fly at the annual festival

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Where can you see swarms of snakes, frogs and whales that have travelled to our shores from as far away as New Zealand, India, America and Kuwait?

The answer is Portsmouth International Kite Festival, which takes place on Southsea Common from tomorrow until bank holiday Monday.

The free annual event will feature elaborate kites based around the above designs.

There will also be beautiful appliquéed or painted single line kites, amazing cellular kites which are flying miracles of structural engineering, 3D soft kites in a magical range of shapes and sizes, and skilfully-flown kites performing tricks and routines to music.

Organisers at Portsmouth City Council and The Kite Society of Great Britain have invited more than 100 kite-flyers from four continents to the world-class festival.

Celebrating its 21st birthday this year, the festival will focus on the edo kites of 17th century Japan for 2012.

These are beautiful pictures painted on rectangular strips of rip-stop nylon with frames and many strings.

As well as seeing these spectacular kites fly, visitors can admire their artistry up-close in the exhibition arena.

There will be constant free-flying all weekend along with arena events from 10am to 5pm tomorrow and Sunday and a dog show on Monday.

There are more family entertainments and activities with a craft tent, free children’s kite workshop, a funfair, kite traders and plenty of catering.

On top of all that, there’s a wind gallery featuring aeolian instruments which use wind to produce music.

Councillor Lee Hunt, cabinet member for culture, leisure and sport, says: ‘The International Kite Festival is always one of the best events held in Portsmouth every year.

‘There’s so much to see and do. It’s a great day out for the whole family.’

n For more information call (023) 9282 6722, find the festival on Facebook or see portsmouthkitefestival.org.uk