ANTELOPE ISLAND -- Six gray kites glide across the cloudless blue sky with synchronized movements.
Down on the ground, six people guide the four-line kites. Each movement of their arms and bodies directs the kites into different motions, sometimes traveling in a large circular pattern and other times seamlessly weaving by each other.
David Hathaway, of Vancouver, British Columbia, is part of the group iQuad, which was putting on that particular kite display Saturday at the Antelope Island Stampede and Balloon Festival.
The festival is a mix of demonstrations, from giant, colorful hot-air balloons lifting into the sky to BMX riders completing daring feats as their bikes fly through the air.
Patrons could watch the demos in addition to browsing through various food and merchandise vendors and listening to live music.
"This is a great community event," said Kathi Dysert, a member of the organizing committee. "It's a chance for people to come out to experience the festival and Antelope Island. It is a great destination."
Through the event, she said, she hopes people will become more aware of Antelope Island because it offers people of all ages something to enjoy.
"We have never had response at this level," Dysert said of the event. "This has been record levels."
She expects this weekend to give the festival its highest attendance. In past years, the festival has drawn about 20,000 people, but Dysert said she expects this year's to surpass 25,000. People marveled at the different displays.
"These kites are really cool," said Layton resident Mary Hacking, who brought her family. "It's amazing that they can do this."
She and her four kids had their eyes to the sky as the iQuad team practiced one of its routines. This was the 99th festival where iQuad had performed. Its 100th one is planned for two weeks from now in Malaysia.
"I like the relaxation," Hathaway said. "It also requires ... concentration, so it is great brain exercise."
John Barresi, team captain of iQuad, said he loves kites.
"The feeling of flying is the most beautiful thing," said the Portland, Ore., resident. "It's like looking up at something divine."
Barresi flies in lead position, and the others follow him. He lines up the kites and calls out maneuvers. Those involve threading through one another, wrapping the kite lines and even hovering in a sustained formation, if the wind is right.
While he and his fellow team members practiced to the applause of patrons, another crowd gathered around the BMX stunt drivers.
People clapped as the bikers did back flips, 360-degree turns and Superman holds where they grasped the handlebars while holding their legs parallel to the ground, as if they were flying.
"This is such a treasure," said Randi Newbold, of Ogden. "I had no idea what this festival was. It's fun, inexpensive and wholesome."
Newbold and her boyfriend, Tyler Bingham, had already watched the balloon launches and some of the kite displays, but just now were watching the BMX bikes.
"It's pretty impressive," Bingham said. "I'm sure it takes a lot of practice."
Josh Hult, a BMX rider from Idaho Falls, confirmed it is difficult work that requires time and dedication. He and his teammates spend half the year touring and competing.
But he said it is worth it.
"I like the fact that you are as good as you want to be. You can push yourself. You make it what you want."
Events wrap up today, starting at 7 a.m. and ending with fireworks at 9:30 p.m.