Dozens at Pacheco State Park took advantage Saturday of the gusty winds so prevalent over Pacheco Pass.
The 11th Family Kite Day drew about 80 people from Hollister, Monterey, Morgan Hill and the Westside to fly a favorite kite from home or one they made on the spot from paper, tape and string.
Chris Creus, 32, brought his two daughters from Monterey. He had never heard of Pacheco State Park until his wife, Yuki, saw an advertisement for the event.
“We started home-schooling, and we tried to make kites together one time and it didn’t work out very well,” he said. “We came up here to make some kites and enjoy the sunshine.”
For Jennifer Morgan, a state park interpreter, the day was all about introducing the 15-year-old park to new people.
Morgan said she encourages visitors to fly their kites early, and then go down to the O’Neill Forebay for a swim. That way, they’re only paying once for a parking pass.
“Basically, it’s just a fun day,” she said.
A handful of tables displayed animal pelts, do-it-yourself kites and anemometers, which measure wind speed, as well as educational materials on water preservation and safety.
Morgan was replete with prizes for the winners of the bubble gum-blowing and pie-eating contests.
Tracie Sumner, a long-time volunteer and San Luis High teacher, said the event’s turnout is heavily dependent on weather and affected by shrinking state parks budgets. Nonetheless, she said, it’s always fun to visit.
“I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone have a bad time out here,” Sumner said.
Cub Scout Pack 700 of Morgan Hill also volunteered to man some of the activities and clean up afterward.
Of course, the event was not only for the uninitiated.
Angelique Barboa, 42, of Los Banos brought 6-year-old son Bryce Anderson to take part in the windy afternoon. He held the string, while she launched the kite.
“We missed it last year, and I wanted to get here this year,” Barboa said. “So, I’m so happy.”