The Aiken skies were dotted with different chromatic shapes as residents gathered at Citizens Park for the sixth annual Kite Festival.
The City of Aiken Parks, Recreation and Tourism Department held the event Saturday which was graced by sunny skies and cool temperatures.
Live music by the Fort Gordon Signal Corps. Rock Band pumped up attendees who were flying kites, enjoying inflatables or checking out cars on display by Aiken Horsepower.
The SPCA Albrecht Center for Animal Welfare was also at the festival taking book donations to support its Paws for Reading program. The nonprofit brought a few of its four-legged friends who are currently up for adoption.
John Gerdes, his wife Casey and their two children Sean and Brianna, were attempting to catch some wind with their rainbow kite that afternoon only to have it spiral back to the ground shortly after liftoff.
“As you can see, we need a little practice,” John Gerdes said with a smile. “It was fun last year but we didn't bring a kite so we did this time.”
The winds were a bit erratic, according to Harlen Groover who is with the Suburban Atlanta Kite Enthusiasts, a group that has attended the event since its inception. The group does kite demonstrations and Groover was manning a large red, white and blue one that he said has managed to stay up in the air all day.
Groover said his son got him into the activity after he watched him participate in a kite flying competition several years ago.
“Before I left (the competition) I had a kite,” Groover said.
Some residents stumbled upon the event that afternoon. Allison LaBorde was at Citizens Park with her son, Andy Colon-LaBorde, to watch some soccer but got caught up in the kite festivities.
“I'm really excited to happen upon it,” LaBorde said as she watched Andy dash around the field with a kite trailing behind him. “It's a great day and my kids are running.”
Sponsors for this event included the Palmetto Kiwanis Club, the Suburban Atlanta Kite Enthusiasts, the Aiken Lobster Race, Aiken Motor Sales & Services, Clear Channel and WBBQ.
STAFF PHOTO BY AMY BANTON Suburban Atlanta Kite Enthusiasts’ Harlen Groover lets little Samuel Hawkins take lead on a large patriotic kite with his father Brad looking on Saturday.×
STAFF PHOTO BY AMY BANTON John Gerdes and his two children Sean and Brianna enjoy some family fun at the annual Kite Festival Saturday.×
STAFF PHOTO BY AMY BANTON Kite Festival attendees enjoy music performed by the Fort Gordon Signal Corp Rock Band on Saturday.×
STAFF PHOTO BY AMY BANTON Andy Colon-LaBorde flies his kite at the festival Saturday afternoon.×