Colorful whimsy will take over the Huntington Beach Pier this weekend as the 11th annual Kite Party takes flight.
Hosted by the Kite Connection, a kite retailer located on the Huntington Beach Pier, almost 100 professional flyers from around the world will gather at roped off sections on the north and south sides of the pier for two days of recreational flying.
The event starts at 11 a.m. Saturday and Sunday and goes until the late afternoon.
Kite Connection owner Dave Shenkman said the event is free to the public and encourages them to bring or purchase kites of their own and join in.
"It's geared for experienced kite flyers, but for spectators, they get to watch professional demonstrations and get professional kite lessons," Shenkman said.
According to the RSVP list on KiteParty.com professionals from around the country have already signed up, with a few coming from Canada and one from Germany.
"It's become one of the most popular kiting events in the country and even the world," Shenkman said.
Shenkman's store on the pier has been around for 29 years and didn't expect the event to grow as big as it has.
"It started on the [Gone With the Wind] kite forum about 11 years ago and I just asked a group of people that were close knit in the industry if I had permission to rope the beach off for a couple of days, 'Who would come?'" he said. "We thought we would get 10 to 15 people flying. We got 50 the first year and now it's just grown into one of the biggest events in the country."
—Anthony Clark Carpio