Issue 32: Dave’s World: Wind Celebration

Sounds pretty exotic, doesn’t it?? Jump on a plane and jet down to the South of France for a few days of sunny kite flying. Such a life!

And despite the rigors of international travel, it was a pretty darned fine weekend! We spent time with good friends, drank plenty of wine, and aired out a few new designs as well.

This was our second visit to “Fête du vent”. Actually we we’re first invited in 2001, but the outbound flight was scheduled for the morning of September 11. That has tended to make the trip a bit emotional. And this year again, I found myself flying on 9-11.

Each year the “Wind Celebration” has expanded with fully twenty-seven countries now in attendance. Singapore, Malaysia, Cambodia, Korea and China represented Asia. Turkey, Lebanon and Syrian kiters came from the Near and Middle East. Australian and Argentinean kiters were on the field flying with Indians and Brazilians. And a full contingent of Europeans and North Americans rounded out the field. With the exception of Dieppe, I’ve never seen so many kite cultures represented in one piece of sky.

For the better part of a week, children’s programs dominate the schedule. It is really exciting to watch the throngs of kids move from tent to tent, learning about art, history, and humanity. Everyone leaves with a kite they made themself. And it is wonderful too, when all those kites go into the air — as long as you aren’t on the same field with all of them.

The main flying arena was packed with amazing creations from around the kite planet.

A Mosaic Gecko from Spain and Giant Alien Spacecraft from Italy.

Ray Bethell, inflatable art, and the Marseilles Barrel.

An appliquéd Flowform, Italian Mermaid, and Valencia Sun.

Patchwork Flowform, Malaysian Wau, and Gaudi Gecko.

Banners from Barcelona

Oversize Fugu, Whistling Kites of Nantong, and The Valkes of Belgium

Mosaic winders and banners from Spain

And assorted giant inflatables from around the world.

The Marseilles winds were tricky, shifting from one direction to another and from light to heavy through the day. But it is amazing what you can accomplish when fliers cooperate, smile, and don’t share enough common language to argue. We drank lots of wine, partied late each night, and then rose early to do it all again..

I flew home Tuesday after a bit of local sightseeing. Friday, the festivals start here on the Oregon beaches close to home. That means all the fliers will be here at the house Saturday night for our annual Kite Fest Party.

The following weekend, we’re off to AKA. See you all there!