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Go Fly a Kite--at Santa Monica Pier Fest

March 21, 1987|ELLEN MELINKOFF

Sunday, the 13-year-old Venice Kite Festival officially becomes the Santa Monica Pier Festival, taking advantage of a broader beach and better parking and good viewing from the pier itself. As always, this is a free, non-competitive kite fly. Founder Gloria Lugo, who owns Let's Fly a Kite kite shop in Marina del Rey, insists on a day of no rules, no fees, no judging.

But that doesn't mean that kite flyers are not out to impress. Starting at noon, the skies will be filled--for great family viewing, or participation--with dragons, centipedes, stars and crystals. Several kite manufacturers are sending teams to perform precision formation-flying demonstrations. This isn't meant to be intimidating, said Lugo, who remembers the days when getting kites to fly was a strenuous operation. "Today's kites, even inexpensive ones, are aerodynamically perfect. You don't need to run with them, they just go up, especially on the beach."

Families are encouraged to plan a full afternoon on the beach; bring along a picnic basket. To reach the best parking--for those carrying armloads of food, blankets and kites--take Pico Boulevard west from Lincoln Boulevard, north on Appian Way, which goes under the pier to a parking lot at beach level. There is parking on the pier, and a flight of stairs to the beach. The kite flying goes on till dark, or until the last flyer quits.

If you don't have a kite, there will be a kite booth open on the pier. Information: (213) 822-2561.

And if the festival makes you wonder just how hard it would be to make your own kite, you can find out next Sunday at the California Museum of Science and Industry's "Go Fly a Kite: A Family Workshop in Kitemaking." This parent-and-child (age 4 and up) class will begin with how to make Japanese-style kites (all supplies provided) and end with a romp outside to test-fly student creations. Hours are 1 to 4 p.m. The cost is $20 for parent and child together and reservations are required by Friday. Information: (213) 744-3335.

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