High River Balloon Festival A Go But No Balloon Glow – OkotoksOnline.com

Hot air balloon enthusiasts can still see them take off from High River next week.

But organizer Jamie Kinghorn says the latest restrictions mean the Balloon Glow is off again.

He says steps are being taken to ensure the safety of festival attendees.

“The High River Balloon Events Committee is responsible for the safety of passengers and pilots and everyone involved in the event and we will follow AHS rules and guidelines to the nth degree and ask anyone who are involved in the event of being double vaccinated or providing a recent 72-hour rapid test.”

“It can be done for all the flights we do you know when you see us over the city we are adapting to AHS unfortunately with the glow it would be impossible for us to enforce these guidelines and secondly they want separation, social distancing between people, but as we know the glow is getting very, very crowded and we just feel like we can’t go on with the glow and keep it safe for everyone,” he says.

It will be very similar to how the event went last year with balloons flying on Wednesday September 22, weather permitting, and until Sunday September 26.

Kinghorn says the committee decided some time ago that they wanted participants to be double-vaccinated and all but two provided proof and the other two said they would bring the results of a recent test, or they will not be allowed to fly.

This leaves the event with 23 balloons after the withdrawal of two American balloonists due to the COVID situation.

“We have Peter (Van Overwaal) from Belgium, he’s coming, he’s arriving Monday from Brussels, and he’s going to be at our event, then he’s going to go home but I’ve spoken to him and he’s just can’t wait to leave the Belgium and to come to a hot air balloon event, so we are delighted to host him,” said Kinghorn.

“He will fly with his special new shape, called Princess Nelly. People will remember that a few years ago we had the Nelly B balloon, well Princess Nelly is very similar except she wears a crown. “

The Heritage Inn International Balloon Festival runs from Wednesday September 22nd to Sunday September 26th.

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