This year, the Heritage Inn International Balloon Festival is in the books as a huge success.
Organizer Jamie Kinghorn says the drivers had a lot of racing.
“We completed five out of seven flights, of course, Wednesday night was a wash and Friday morning was a wash, but we got all five flights and we got the glow, that’s a record for our event,” says- he.
The Balloon Glow really got to take advantage of its new location just north of the Center Street Bridge.
“Once again a huge hit for High River, I’ve heard estimates of 15,000, I have no idea how many, all I know is I was in a sea of them and it was an incredible success, we managed to hold most of the balls, they didn’t all go up, most did and we put on quite a show.”
He says the traffic was really well done and the buses from both north and south helped ease a lot of the usual congestion.
“From a pilots perspective, it was an amazing event and I keep getting these comments, and I will come back to this, that pilots come to High River because of the people in the community and how they are treated. They feel really special when they come to High River and all want to come back next year including our overseas friends they are all excited to be back for 2023 which will of course be our tenth anniversary so we’re looking to do some special things next year.”
Kinghorn paid tribute to the many volunteers who help make the event the success it has been.
He also praised the sponsors and said they will be looking for more next year when they try to bring some very, very special shapes to the festival.
Kinghorn says the parking fees have been pretty well accepted.
“What I’ve heard is the cost of renting the buses. We had to contract out the buses and that comes at a price, of course they have to pay their drivers, pay the fuel, all that kind of things so that’s why we had this $20 parking fee in there and let’s not forget we shared that with the High River Ag Society and all of their volunteers as well as the south end of the town that was the Boys and Girl Club and we saw their buses there, so we split a lot of the revenue with those two organizations,” Kinghorn says.