THE Weymouth Kite Festival is off to a flying start after officially opening this morning.

The three-day event is being organised for the first time by the Community Kite Group.

Professional kite flyers will be testing the wind with their kites throughout the festival.

Today's events include a dog show and a single line area where small to giant size kites will fly.

There will also be an informal flying area where some of the arena flyers can be met.

A fairground is on the Pavilion forecourt whilst an international food village nearby features delicacies from Spain, South Africa, Holland, France and many other countries.

Diane Moore, one of the festival’s organisers, said she was pleased with the response to the festival so far.

She said: “It’s excellent. It’s almost like the carnival was down. Everybody was going crazy. There’s so much going on - it’s incredible.

“The weather is a godsend."

She added: “We have put on enough to entertain every single person.”

Sandy West is one of a number people volunteering at this year’s festival.

Her role includes helping people at the Pavilion by directing them to events and attractions.

She said: “I think it’s fantastic. Loads of people are coming in and they want to know where things are. It’s a very exciting atmosphere already.

“I just want everybody to have a good time and to enjoy themselves.”

Chis and Lesley Smith, from Poole, were among the visitors watching the displays today.

Chris said: “We come every year. I saw it was on and brought the grandkids.

“The kites are really good. I like the teddy bear.”

Tim Rohn, 60, a member of the Solent Kite Flyers, is taking part in Sunday’s Trick-Out category, which involves specialist trick flying.

Tim said: “It’s an ideal place for a festival, certainly now there’s few and far between festivals.

“I’m very glad it’s still carrying on. It’s an essential part. I think in my mind if they hadn’t continued it could have been economic suicide.”

Brian Smith, 74, travelled down from Abingdon, Oxfordshire, for the festival along with other members of the White Horse Kite Flyers.

He said: “We’ve been coming here for 10 years. We are just happy to be here to be honest.

“It’s the beginning of the summer and we just like coming to Weymouth.”

He added: “It’s a mixture of business and pleasure.”