Another successful balloon festival is in the books, and according to event organizers, this year’s activities turned out great!
“It was good to have the festival be back in full swing. From the crowds that came you could tell everyone was ready to get out and have some fun!” said Tonia Lewis, an event coordinator. “The FMX show and the concerts put on a great show along with all our local entertainment. The festival is continuing to grow! We added food and vendors to offer more variety and they all seemed to be a hit!”
Even though the weather prevented flights Friday and Saturday, taking in consideration the safety of crews and passengers, balloonists were still able to do a static display on the ground for the crowds to see and families were able to get up close and personal with the balloon. Due to some rain sprinkling on the field and thunderstorms building in the area tether flights were canceled.
“We would like to thank all those who came out and were patiently waiting. Like the pilots say. “It is better to be on the ground wishing you were in the air than in the air wishing you were on the ground.”,” said Lewis. “Mother nature is our partner; sometimes she gives us spectacular flying and views in the most peaceful place in the world, the skies. Other days, she decides we need patience and moisture to sustain us. We were able to inflate at each planned balloon launch and put on a show so that is success in our books and the pilots and crews hope that you enjoyed it! The pilots love sharing the wonder, magic, science, and history of ballooning with you! Thank you to the sponsors who help us share. Next time you see a sponsor thank them too. We couldn’t do it without you!”
The winds calmed down just in time for a perfect balloon glow on Main Street Saturday night while Jagertown provided a free concert. Sunday the balloons were able to fly sponsors and passengers who weren’t able to get their flights on Friday and Saturday as the winds were favorable.
According to Lewis, five balloons flew on Thursday before the festival as some pilots love this festival so much they want to come early and do a fun flight. The balloons flew north and landed in Redmond where the typical winds take them, and she said the carnival was bigger this year because another event was canceled so they were able to bring more of their rides.
“The crowds were larger,” she said. “Our festival keeps growing every year and the Xtreme Barrel Race in town gives each event goer more to do and see. Many pilots tell us this is their favorite festival because of the people here and the fun things to do. The pilots and crews went river rafting the Sevier River at Hoover’s and cooled off at Fish Lake, wading in the twin creeks, kayaking, fishing, and taking other pilots and crews for their first ATV rides. All the pilots and crews want to thank all the committees for their hard work.”
Organizers estimate there were approximately 9,000 people at the festival and invite anyone interested in participating, to visit eyestotheskyballoonfestival.com, and their Facebook and Instagram pages. Also, don’t forget to share all your photos and tag @eyestotheskyballoonfestival or #salinasky.