By Robert Mills

Kites of all colors flew high this weekend at the 2011 Berkeley Kite Festival. Several hundred Bay Area sky sailors met at Berkeley Marina to take in the two-day event hosted by Highline Kites.

July 30 and 31 marked the 26th year of the festival. Strong winds blessed the sunny blue skies at the Marina on Saturday. Professional, intermediate and beginner kite enthusiasts flew homemade and collectible kites, single-line cartoon floaters, parafoils and dual- and quad-line stunt kites from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

Giant octopi reigned over the Berkeley Marina. Photo: Robert Mills

Visitors enjoyed special events like free kite making, candy drops and Rokkaku kite battles. Children swooped up candy that fell from the sky. Youth volunteers helped retrieve runaway fighter kites whose strings were severed in battle.

Giant octopi, some longer than a train car, reigned over a Marina packed with smiling faces and that distinct aroma of garlic fries.

Guest contributor

Freelance writers with story pitches can email