Festival organisers keep visitors entertained despite weather

The American city of Foley, Alabama, has recently hosted the Gulf Coast Hot Air Balloon Festival for the 10th consecutive year.

The first day saw thunderstorms and heavy downpours, which prevented the hot air balloons from taking to the skies. However, the festival grounds were filled with crowd entertaining stalls and activities, meaning that the overall success of the festival was not dependent on the weather.

There was something for everyone, from live entertainment to activities for kids. The festival site opened at 2pm once the weather lightened up, but the steady wind and damp ground prevented the scheduled tethered trips and evening balloon flights planned for the first day.

Speaking on the opening day, Donna Watts, president and CEO of the South Baldwin Chamber of Commerce that organised the event, commented:

“I know these guys. Whatever happens they’re going to do their best to do some show on tonight. We just want everyone to come out and have a good time. We have great entertainment. The balloons will be here to do some entertaining and you know the dog show and all the food and the music, come out enjoy it.”

The crowd was light initially, but continued to build as the weather improved. People came to view the hot air balloons on display and peruse the many arts and crafts stalls on site.

Floridians Ronald and Janice Dady added that they fondly anticipate the festival every year, calling it the “prettiest” event they attend whilst selling freshly roasted corn. Many soaked up the ambience, enjoying interactive displays and hot air balloon photo opportunities.

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