Circumstances imposed, and we were disappointed not to be able to make this year's Atlantic Beach Kite Festival in late October. But we were free the first week in November, and after just a few minutes of searching the Internet, we discovered that Wrightsville Beach holds its own kite festival.
It was a wonderful jaunt. The temperatures were a bit cool on the Saturday and Sunday that we were there, but a strong sun and crystal blue skies kept it just warm enough for this former Philly guy (and his N.C.-native wife.)
The giant, colorful octopus kites (170 feet long, 75 feet across!) made appearances, as well as a 10-story scuba diver and what had to be a five-story sea horse. And of course any number of people brought their own kites.
There's not the music, activities and stunt fliers that we're used to at Atlantic Beach, but any kite in the sky is a joy for "kite people" like my wife ... and increasingly me. It's worth the trip, and a long weekend next year.
By the way, next year's Atlantic Beach Kite Fest is Oct. 26 and 27. If you're a kite person, or have youngsters, you'll love it.