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Nineteenth Filipino international balloon festival to be held

This weekend, hot air balloons from across the world will gather at Clark Freeport Zone, Pampanga, in the Philippines. The Philippine International Hot Air Balloon Fiesta (PIHABF) will be returning for its nineteenth year, with the event being held at a hanger belonging to the Asian nation’s air force between February 12th and 15th. The Fiesta mainly features hot air balloons, but other forms of flight are represented. For example, there will be demonstrations of powered paragliding, as well as formation flying, skydiving and aerobatic displays. This year, 32 balloons are expected to attend the event, including popular shaped craft such as the Pink Elephant, Vincent Van Gough, and the Upside Down Balloon. Each day the balloons will launch at 6am, with exhibitions throughout the day. On the ground, there will be a food market, as well as a mini zoo. Birds of prey will demonstrate their skills and there will be a fire fighting display. Local cable network Jeepney TV will host a performance on the evening of Valentine’s Day, with entrance to the concert scheduled to be free. On the fourth day, the Fiesta will end with fireworks and a nightglow event. At the event, eight awards will be given out, including to one pilot who will receive the Aviator of the Year Award for improving safety standards in their region. The popular Fiesta is organised and run by volunteers who mostly work in the aviation industry. Funds raised from the event will go to the PIHABF Foundation Scholarship Fund, which helps people from underprivileged backgrounds to pursue an aviation career.
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