SYRACUSE -- Brightly colored, virtually weightless kites floated through the motionless air Friday as hundreds of elementary students looked on with awe and admiration.
As part of this weekend's Antelope Island Stampede, professional kite pilots took their talents to Syracuse Elementary School to give students a taste of at the festival.
The pilots danced across the school's gymnasium floor as they pulled the strings that caused the kites to turn, flip and dive.
As kites soared through the air above students' heads, professional kite pilot Ron Gibian described how the intricately made indoor kites flew absent of any wind.
"(The kites) fly inside by moving around in the air. They are so super light that they glide on, and pull against, the air in the room," Gibian said.
The ultra-light kites, made of carbon and graphite poles and polyester and nylon fabrics, are handmade and decorated with designs often created by the pilots.
Students watched as the kites rose into the air, almost reaching the ceiling, twisted downward toward them, and then hovered just a few inches above their reach.
Joyful screams echoed and smiles were everywhere as students and teachers alike enjoyed the display.
"It's one of the most amazing things I've ever seen. It's cool how light they are," said Savannah Vandijk, 11.
Adree Calee, 11, was impressed with the kites ability to fly in such a limited space.
Kite pilot John Barresi told students that some kites -- like those used indoor -- are designed with performance in mind. However, other outdoor kites are designed with a visual emphasis, complete with intricate graphics and artistic designs.
Barresi said that many different types of kites will be flown at the Antelope Island Stampede, including performances of up to six outdoor kites dancing in unison to a choreographed musical show.
Also on display will be large inflatable kites -- such as a giant octopus -- that will soar above Antelope Island.
The pilots displayed some of these heavier kites, which featured intricate designs and heavier materials.
Baressi showed the students a kite's design up close, and then had them look at it again from across the room. He pointed out how the design was clearer when seen from a distance.
In response to a question, Gibian said they learn to fly the kites through "lots of hours of practice. We live it every day, so you get very good at what you do."
"These kites are nothing short of amazing," he said.