LOS BANOS — Weather can be essential to the success of any summertime event, and that's especially so for Kite Day at Pacheco State Park.
"It wasn't boiling, so that was good," said Jennifer Morgan, a state park interpreter.
The 12th version of Kite Day drew nearly 90 high-fliers to the windy hills west of Los Banos, Morgan said. Some brought kites while others made one on the spot.
Smokey Bear made an appearance with a crew from the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, and many competed for prizes in the bubble-gum-blowing and pie-eating contests.
Morgan often 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.
"It was really a lot of fun, all in all," Morgan said.
A handful of tables displayed animal pelts, do-it-yourself kites and windspeed devices.
Morgan estimated about half in attendance were from Los Banos, while the rest came from "the other side of the hill," places like Gilroy and Hollister.
"A lot of them had never been before," she said.
The whole point of Kite Day, from park staff's perspective, is to get people to the 15-year-old park.
Kite Day is the year's final special event open to the general public at Pacheco State Park.
Catch a Special Thrill for Kids (CAST for Kids) is planned Oct. 26. It's a day of fishing and outdoor entertainment for 7- to 14-year-olds with disabilities.
For more on the event, go to www.castforkids.org.
Los Banos Enterprise reporter Thaddeus Miller can be reached at (209) 388-6562 or firstname.lastname@example.org.