Ottumwa welcomes balloonists for races

The 36th annual Ottumwa Pro Balloon Races kicked off with its usual precision this year, with most views enjoyed from the ground.

Dale Dommer, one of the organisers of the event, claimed that due to time constraints, it wasn’t possible to fit in the competition balloon flights they had originally planned. Indeed, at the Ottumwa flight event, the balloonists missed out on all three of these, but this did not serve to deflate the collective spirit of the weekend. Many of those who attended were forced to accept that flexibility is an inevitable part of their pastime.

On the Sunday, Dommer reported that they were still able to find time for a couple of ‘fun flights’. The aim of which was to fly over Ottumwa Park and drop a rubber duck into a children’s paddling pool below. The winner of this was Brandon Bloom of Indianola, who successfully landed his duck in the pool to the sound of a very appreciate audience.

Many of those who were not at the event, however, still played a crucial part in its success. A number of land owners from around Wapello County agreed to donate their landing space for the day.

One of the crew chiefs, Dan Maxcy, spoke about the appeal of flying in the area, saying:

“People are usually gracious if you have to land [on their] property. Around here, though, they are even more gracious.”

It seems the people of Ottumwa have further cemented their hometown’s reputation as a balloonist-friendly place.

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