THOUSANDS of people descended onto Weymouth Beach at the weekend as the UK’s largest beach kite festival took place.

The Weymouth Kite Festival, organised for the first time by the Community Kite Group, started on Saturday with some informal flying.

It was officially opened by Mayor and Mayoress of Weymouth and Portland Ray Banham and Pam Nixon yesterday and continues again today, finishing with a presentation of trophies at 4.45pm.

Professional kite flyers have been testing the wind with their kites throughout the festival.

Despite a drop in the wind yesterday morning, Michael McManus, director of the Community Kite Group, said he was pleased with the event so far.

Mr McManus led a group to keep the festival going after Weymouth and Portland Borough Council withdrew financial support. He said: “The crowds are starting to turn up. It is raffle tickets and programmes we need people to buy now.”

Mr McManus urged people to come and witness the festival’s last day of action. He said: “There’s so much going on.”

Today’s events include a number of displays using different kite models. There will also be kite-making workshops. A fairground is on the Pavilion forecourt whilst an international food village nearby features delicacies from across the world.

Tim Rohn, 60, a member of the Solent Kite Flyers, took part in Sunday’s Trick-Out category.

Tim said: “It’s an ideal place for a festival.”

Brian Smith, 74, travelled down from Abingdon, Oxfordshire, for the festival, 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.”