Nice article in the East Bay Express on the history of this famed Berkeley annual event:
The annual event was started in 1986 by Tom McAllister, who set up his retail store, Highline Kites, on the Berkeley Marina in the same year. It started as a way to give back to the community while also garnering some attention for his new business, and in the first year there was an impressive, if humble, turnout of around five hundred people. Less than thirty years later, the festival brings out nearly 25 to 30 thousand people to the Berkeley Marina over its two days, making it one of the largest kite festivals in North America, and flooding the sky with soaring kites.
Image credit: highlinekites.com