Kite festival to brighten up Morro Bay

Special to The TribuneApril 13, 2014 

Costumed in her chosen theme for the day, Penny Lingenfelter produces ballets in the sky.

Her dancers are fairies and butterflies with streaming colorful tails — multiple kites flying to music.

“Penny is invited worldwide to perform,” said Shaun Farmer, director of the Morro Bay Kite Festival, scheduled for April 26 and 27 on the beach at Morro Rock. “She only does eight festivals a year. We are one of them. She loves to work with the kids and will be teaching them to fly her kites.”

The award-winning Team AirZone travels worldwide to perform their sky-ballets and precision kite flying. Aaron Champie, John Gillespie, Darrin Skinner and Francisco Navarro will compete at World Sport Kite Championships in Berck-sur-Mer, France, from April 12 to 20.

Also returning are Erik and Erika Froeming with their giant inflatable, plus Mark and Jeanette Lummas, who team fly stunt quad kites.

“They are amazing kite fliers,” Farmer said. “Their son is about 10 and will perform this year.”

George Halpin is back for the Jim Straley Memorial Kite Candy Drop, as is the Central Coast Funds for Children, with a booth offering 500 free kites for kids to decorate and fly.

“We will have a new announcer this year: our zone director from the American Kitefliers Association, Glen Rothstein,” Farmer said. “Sadly, we lost David Woods in a tragic construction accident. He will be missed, but his wife, Sherry, continues to help us out.”

Farmer’s committee is Champie and local friends Sherry Woods, Laurie Haworth, Bruce and Dee Dee Ogilvie, Terry and Lynn Cook, and T.C. and Linda Coss.

“We could use help, especially from more local hotels,” Farmer said. “We received funding from the tourism bureau for city services and operations needs. John and Joan Solu, Karen Biaggini and Michele Jacquez, the Breakers and Best Western El Rancho offered rooms.

“Morro Dunes always gives us two RV spots. We have 10 but need 20 rooms. The kite entertainers donate their time and travel expenses for a weekend in Morro Bay, and a fish and chips dinner Giovanni’s always donates. I hope we can find 10 more rooms to host them.”

Farmer also hopes to mentor a new chairman for 2015: “I love seeing the kids get off their phones and iPads to enjoy flying kites on the beach. I know someone else could make this a bigger event for Morro Bay.”   

Judy Salamacha’s column is special to The Tribune. Reach her at or 801-1422.

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