Missouri businessman organises balloon glow at local event

A businessman in Missouri will be organising a balloon glow on Friday 17th June, as part of the Fulton Street Fair.

The fair will be running for the 13th year, featuring around eight balloons belonging to Gary Whitby and his friends. Whitby is the owner of a distributorship of Pepperidge Farm for Central Missouri. His own hot air balloon has been decorated with the company’s famous cracker, which is shaped like a goldfish, and has been named ‘Boomer’.

Whitby, along with his wife Cindy, will travel to Fulton Street Fair on the 17th to take part in the balloon glow. The balloons will be tethered to the ground so that spectators can take a look around the balloons.

According to Whitby, it was a similar event which ignited his interest in hot air balloons. About 20 years earlier, he volunteered to be part of the balloon crew, taking the first opportunity to fly. He has been a balloon enthusiast ever since. The pilot has also travelled to Mexico to pilot balloons, with a number of videos posted on the internet.

The co-ordinator of the fair, Jennell Austin, said that the balloon glow had been organised for the Friday night so that it wouldn’t clash with the fireworks which have been arranged for the Saturday.

Austin also highlighted that the balloon event would be dependent on the weather, as lightning could create dangerous conditions. Although balloon flights won’t be offered during the event, they will be available from Whitby at other times.

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