LONG BEACH, MS (WLOX) - The sunny weather and high winds were perfect for the many large kites flying over the City of Long Beach Saturday afternoon.
If you were in that area you may have seen the kites along Highway 90. This was the first ever Wind and Wave festival in the city and takes the place of the kite festival usually held during this time of year.
A moving rainbow of kites soared over the beach slowing motorists and filling the beach and benches with people.
"I think they are fabulous. I think they really brighten up the day and all of the people driving down the road just smile and it brings a good feeling to yourself and people around you," said Jean Rayhle.
Sponsored by Long Beach Main Street, the Wind and Wave Festival, which was free to enter, featured a full day of activity with plenty of kite gazing and dozens of vendors offering food, as well as, arts and crafts.
"It builds our civic opportunities here in our community. It brings the people to our community to visit. We just thought it would build the city," said Shelda Jones the coordinator for Long Beach Main Street.
From a large parrot to cats and dogs and even an octopus, the kites soared overhead attached to very long reels of string anchored in the sand. Stephanie Heaphy and her family came to the festival from St. Rose, Louisiana.
"It's something that people aren't used to seeing. The kites are beautiful. They are well made and everything flying in the air. It's all animated and the kids really enjoy seeing it and taking pictures. My daughter's been walking around snapping pictures of everything," said Heaphy.
"The kites are so beautiful and the waters really fun," said Heaphy's 5-year-old daughter Jensen.
The festival extended further north of the beach at the Long Beach Town Grown. That's were classic cars with Busted Wrench Garage Museum and Gift Shop cruised down Jeff Davis Avenue and vendors were stationed. But the obvious favorite of this festival was simply the kites.
"Love the parrot. Love the bee. Like how the wings flutter. I think they are all original and I like that they are low to the beach, so that people can really see them and take pictures," said Rayhle.
All proceeds from the festival will go back to Long Beach Main Street to benefit other community activities. If you missed the kites they will continue to fly Saturday evening with LED lights attached to them.
Located next to the festival is the Long Beach Band Carnival. The event benefits the Long Beach Band and ends Sunday, May 18 from 1pm-10pm.
Entry is $20 per person otherwise you can buy tickets. Ticket prices are single tickets $1.25 or a family pack 20 tickets $20 each ride takes 2-4 tickets.