THE skies above Southsea Common will be filled with kites of all shapes and sizes for the 26th Portsmouth International Kite Festival this weekend.
The aerial spectacular regularly features hundreds of kite enthusiasts attracted by the perfect flying conditions the seafront has to offer.
This year’s festival, run by Portsmouth City Council and the Kite Society of Great Britain, is being held on Saturday and Sunday from 10am to 5pm.
Gill Bloom, the society’s secretary, said fliers from as far afield as Australia, Canada and South Africa will be visiting the city.
She added: ‘We will be trying to show off all the different kites that you can find around the world, especially in the Asian region.
‘As well as the kites there’s going to be free workshops for children to learn how to make their own kites.
‘The kite festival in Portsmouth is the biggest and best in the country and we are grateful to the council for continuing to support it.
‘They are a vital part of the event and we could not hold it without them.’
Visitors can watch a range of single line kites, appliquéd or painted with colourful designs, cellular kites and 3D soft kites which can perform tricks and routines to music.
Fliers at last year’s event helped break the world record for the number of the number of Trilobite kites flown together, with 21 in the sky at once.
We will be trying to show off all the different kites that you can find around the world, especially in the Asian region.Gill Bloom, secretary of Kite Society of Great Britain
But after a group in the USA took the record with 30, the plan is to retake it this weekend in Portsmouth.
This year’s theme is the ‘Seven Continents’ and will include colourful demonstrations of the art of kite flying and kite making.
Organisers are hoping they will have a kite flier from each continent - though are still waiting for an enthusiast from Antarctica to come forward.
Councillor Linda Symes, the city council’s cabinet member for culture, leisure and sport, said: ‘The kite festival is wonderful and a favourite in many people’s calendar.
‘This year’s event with its continental theme promises to be spectacular and not to be missed.’
There will also be a host of other activities for families, including kite stalls, a craft tent, children’s rides and a range of food stalls.
For more information on the kite festival visit portsmouthkitefestival.org.uk.