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New balloon festival launched for 2017

The residents and visitors of Eastbourne will enjoy their very own hot air balloon festival next year, according to the Friends of Hampden Park. The plans for the festival were announced at Hampden Park Fun Day, which took place over the August Bank Holiday weekend and had over 3,000 attendees. The event will be sponsored by Gatwick Airport. CEO, Stuart Wingate, believes that Eastbourne is a town which has an interest in continued growth, just as they have, and is a thriving community. Wingate added that the Hot Air Balloon Festival is a colourful and vibrant way to celebrate the similarities between the town and Gatwick's interests. According to the chairman of the Friends of Hampden Park, Sandy Boyce-Sharpe, the balloon festival was originally intended as an event for the members of the society, the people who are regular users of the park and the supporters of the group. However, as word spread about the proposed event, people became very excited about it and got involved. The local MP, Caroline Ansell, introduced the society to Gatwick, whose sponsorship has made the event possible. With so much interest in the festival, it has now become an international festival for 2017. Boyce-Sharpe added that more business partners are coming forward, offering financial investment. Ansell paid tribute to the chairman of the society, as the event wouldn't be taking place without her enthusiasm and drive. Gatwick have pledged £10,000 as sponsorship for the balloon festival. Hot air balloon festivals take part all over the world, becoming a popular theme for many events.
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