The skies of Loughrea, a town in County Galway, was a blaze of colour, as a host of hot air balloons were officially launched to mark the upcoming 2016 National Championships in September.
The event was officially launched by Peter Roche, the cathaoirleach of Galway County Council. The championships are due to take place between 25th and 30th September. Councillor Roche was pleased to launch the event, as he stated that around 40 international hot air balloon teams would be arriving in Galway, which would be excellent news for tourism, business and the communities there.
Joe Daly, the event director, said that the competition had been sponsored by Galway County Council, which had made it possible. The teams are going to be arriving from the US, France, Italy, Spain, Scotland, Northern Ireland, Wales, England, Scotland and a host of other countries. The base for the championships will be Loughrea, although other locations in the county will be involved.
Hot air ballooning is promoted by the Irish Hot Air Ballooning association as Ireland's representative body. According to Daly, the event is a colourful experience, and also a wonderful way to view County Galway's scenery. The communities follow the flights, which is a fun experience for spectators and the competitors alike.
Plans are currently underway for the night glow, school visits and the mass launch of all the balloons. Balloon flights are an excellent way to view beautiful scenery, especially if this is combined with the celebration of a special event.