Council backs return of Canadian balloon festival

The town council of High River, Alberta, has agreed to support the return of its 2013 hot air balloon event with $5,000 in funding following a recent vote.

A co-organiser of the 2013 festival and main supporter of the initiative, Jamie Kinghorn, has embraced the news, with a line-up of pilots already in place.

During a meeting at the council on the 25th January this year, Kinghorn suggested the idea of hosting a 2014 hot air balloon festival, which subsequently drew in the support of many councillors. The town’s mayor, Craig Snodgrass, also backed the proposal and wished to see an annual return of the festival.

Additionally, it was Kinghorn who persuaded the council to donate $5,000 to the cause, matching the amount given last year. It is thought that these funds will sufficiently support the full amount of sponsorship required to create a successful event. Kinghorn said:

“The money’s a big part of the budget. I’m looking at about a $30,000 budget, so this is a big share of it.”

He and his team will now take steps to secure the go-ahead of the event by requesting funds from other local sponsors.

Twenty pilots competed for top positions during the 2013 Canadian Hot Air Balloon Championships, with other pilots from different parts of the world holding ‘fiesta flights’ for visitors. One of these was Michel Lambert, who flies a Darth Vader mask replica balloon.

Assuming that everything falls into place, the 2014 balloon festival will take place on September 26th-28th, at the same time as the Alberta Culture Days and Show & Shine car event.

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