Go fly a kite!  I think this must be the slogan for the annual Seal Beach Japan America Kite Festival.  Every year hundreds of kite enthusiasts gather on the Pacific shores of Seal Beach, California to give flight to their colorful kite creations!  Many of them hand-crafted by expert kite makers from around the world, including master Japanese kite builder Mr. Mikio Toki.  Spectators can look forward to breathtaking sights from the several vantage points surrounding this event.

Unfortunately, the weather refused to cooperate this year as demonstrated by these shots I captured at yesterday’s event.

This is but a small sampling of what the sky would have looked like had the wind increased.  You’ll notice dozens of large kites resting on the beach, unable to take flight.

Even with the grey skies, the kites that were able to launch created a backdrop of color.

The aerial ballet kites were unaffected by the lack of wind speed.  This competition is a beautiful display of synchronized music and expert aeronautical maneuvers.

As you can see the smaller kites had an easy time becoming airborne, while the larger kites were doomed to flounder only a few feet into their flight – if they were able to get off the ground at all.

Of course, that didn’t mean a good time was not to be had!  This gentleman simply loaded his baby grand piano into the back of his Chevy truck and seemed happy to entertain the crowd!  Now you know the origin of the term microphone “Wind Sock.”

So, don’t feel badly for the people who had gathered for this annual event.  Though some kites didn’t have much fun, just about everyone else did!

Thanks for stopping by. 


~ by photographyfree4all on October 4, 2010.


  1. lol! I once saw a guy playing the piano near the beach in California and thought “only in California would they haul a piano around outdoors.” I was wrong. There is a guy who plays piano on the Pearl Street Mall (outdoors) in Colorado. But I’m guessing California started the trend.

    It’s too bad the weather didn’t cooperate. Just looking at your first few photos gives a glimpse of how stunning it would be to see the big kites fly.


  2. Love the piano player photo! Looks like he’s got a lot of miles on that piano!


  3. It was a bit disappointing, Robin. But still had a good time. That guy was really good on the piano! I’m glad you stopped by.


  4. Just about the most beat up piano I’ve ever seen – but he was very good! Thanks for stopping by Barb!


  5. Such an interesting shot of the piano player. I imagine he feels about music the same way people like us feel about photography. I love the colors in the picture you are using for your header right now, by the way. 🙂


  6. Love the picture of the pianist! And the kites are so colorful and lively! 😀


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