Kite flying festival returns to Santa Clarita

Volunteers with CRY America, including the Santa Clarita chapter, get their kites ready for guests coming to the second kite flying festival. Ryan Mancini/The Signal

Neon-colored kites pierced the cloudy skies over West Creek Park in Valencia as the Los Angeles Chapter of Child Rights and You held its second annual kite flying festival on Saturday.

“We do it at a lot of other action centers all over the U.S.,” said Varnica Singh, CRY America Los Angeles’ action center lead. “Last year was our first annual kite festival and we got a very good response from the residents of Santa Clarita and also from the L.A. area. A lot of people drove from there and really enjoyed it.”

CRY America is a nonprofit organization with the goal of providing underprivileged children access to education, health care and protection from exploitation, according to the organization’s mission statement.

Maker’s Studio mentor Liz Mullen helps Ayana Anandani, 4, with a craft she made at the kite flying festival. Ryan Mancini/The Signal

Singh and other volunteers handed out paper kites shipped from India, she said. Park goers purchased a kite for $15, while the $30 family pack consisted of one spool and two kites. Guests then received a raffle ticket, which could be dropped into jars atop sheets of paper with different prizes to win, including a $25 gift card from Kitaab World, a $25 gift card for The Looks threading salon and a DIY kit from The Maker’s Studio.

Different sponsors set up tables beside the kite flying festival, including Pump It Up of Santa Clarita, By Invitation Only and other businesses that offered goodie bags and snacks for guests. Across the park families gathered to watch a performance by students at EB Bollywood Dance Studios.

“All the ticket proceeds will go and benefit less privileged kids, so that’s the main important thing,” Singh said. “Having fun and at the same time giving back to the community.”

Rajeev and Richa Agarwal visited the park for their first kite festival with their son Ranvir.

Rajeev Agarwal, left, catches a steady breeze to get his kite airborne as his son Ranvir, center, and wife Richa look on. Ryan Mancini/The Signal

“We wanted to enjoy the moment,” Rajeev said, referring to the sunny weather after days of rain. “We support CRY America and wanted to come out for something new, and we love it so far.”

After his kite reached its highpoint in the air, Rajeev ran toward it as it descended into a cluster of trees. Soon after, he was airborne once again.

As more participants appeared at the park, Singh said her “wish is to continue this flagship event of ours for the coming years.”

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