Issue 54: Dave’s World: Berck

The sun beamed out of a beautiful blue sky Saturday morning, and as the wind turned in off the water, 500 kiters began to loft the most amazing assembly of flying creations I think I’ve ever seen.

Peter Lynn, who has seen a few kite fests, remarked that there were at least 200 “largish” kites in the air. He defines “largish” as weighing at least 25 pounds. But one of the German fliers said it best. “There are so many lines in the air that the birds are walking!”

Closer to the ground, the holiday crowds streamed in. I spoke to people who had come by bicycle because there was not a parking spot to be had within two miles. Officials estimated over 100,000 in attendance.

We anchored a field at the south end of the beach with our octopus show. Sport kiters performed in the middle arena. And at the north end, the breezes were alive with color. From a distance, it looked like a wall of fabric and lines. But up close, the artistry and creativity were spellbinding.

I’ve posted 50 of my favorite kites here. Stare at the thumbnail for a moment to imagine what lurks behind. Then click on each image see the entire piece.

We had fabulous flying on Saturday, Sunday, and Monday. Then we began to prepare gear for the long trip home.

Saying goodbye to friends at a festival is hard. Some you expect to fly with in just weeks. There are more events and more countries, and it is dizzying to think that you shake hands with a flier in France and expect to greet him again in China two weeks later. Others you know you won’t see again for a full year. But in kiting, there is always a next time.

And for those of you curious, we put 19 into the Berck sky Saturday.

David Gomberg