Kismet at Carlton Balloon Festival takes off – Duluth News Tribune

CROMWELL – Sweetly Kismet Candy Store has taken the term “sugar high” to new levels by hosting the first Kismet in Carlton Balloon Festival on Friday and Saturday.

The event was held in conjunction with the Cromwell Harvest Festival at the Cromwell-Wright High School baseball diamonds. Next year, organizers plan the hot air balloon festival to be held in partnership with the Black Bear Casino Resort in Carlton.

Aerial view of Kismet at Carlton Balloon Festival. The “Sugar High” balloon is displayed at the top, with the “Sunny Daze” and “Oh-Zone” balloons at the bottom.

Contributed / AmyLeigh Arntson

In previous years, Bayfront Festival Park has served as the setting for the Duluth Hot Air Balloon Festival. After a four-year hiatus, a group of Northland organizers decided to hold a similar rally further inland for safety reasons.

Ed Chapman, piloted ‘Fire and Frost’, not pictured, the lead balloon of the four which went up for hour-long rides on Saturday at Cromwell. He was in charge of finding a place to land all the balloons. This wide-open pasture provided a perfect spot to land all four balloons. This is the tag that the pursuit vehicle asks permission from the owners before anyone disembarks. The owners were on the field when the four balloons made their approach and happily welcomed the crew to their land.

Contributed / AmyLeigh Arntson

“Bayfront was a difficult site to take off and fly from due to unpredictable winds. We didn’t want to end up over Lake Superior with nowhere to land,” Sweetly Kismet Candy Store owner Jon Parrott told Carlton.

‘Sunny Daze’ pilot Mark Spanier takes his passengers close to the water before climbing above the treeline.

Contributed / AmyLeigh Arntson

A hot air balloon pilot, Jon joined fellow Minnesota balloonists Ed Chapman, Brett Tupy and brothers Mark and Tom Spanier in an effort to share their joy of the activity with others in the area.

“Sugar High” receives help from spectators on Saturday at Cromwell. All hands on deck are needed to inflate the balloons.

Contributed / AmyLeigh Arntson

“Enchantment” pilot Brett Tupy flies his balloon through two hay bales before landing.

Contributed / AmyLeigh Arntson

“There aren’t many people doing it, maybe less than a dozen in the state. We’re hoping to bring ballooning back and revive it. It gives local pilots a way to show the community what they do and display their balloons,” Jon said.

With captive rides and commercial flights followed by a light-up balloon show on Saturday at dusk, the first annual Kismet Balloon Festival in Carlton was a success, drawing a lively baseball field with attendees. The Sweetly Kismet Candy Store hosted the event, with concessions available for hungry balloonists.

“Sugar High” goes up one last time on Saturday night. “Sugar” High offered captive rides for $20 per passenger. It was a good way for those who had never been on a hot air balloon to experience what it is.

Contributed / AmyLeigh Arntson

JoAnn Schmidt said her family ventured over an hour to Cromwell from Pine City because it was a good opportunity for her daughter, Claira Schmidt, who has Down syndrome. They opted for a tethered ride in the Sweetly Kismet ball.

Lawrence, Claira, JoAnn and LJ Schmidt traveled from Pine City to attend the first Kismet Balloon Festival in Carlton at the Cromwell High School baseball fields on Saturday.

Brielle Bredsten/Duluth News Tribune

“It was hot,” said JoAnn describing the heat from the burner as they stood in the basket, “and cool! I think it’s a very cool event that the town of Cromwell has put on – very unique. Luckily, the time I cooperated in. Grab the chance if you ever had the chance.

“Sunny Daze” gives the crowd one last glow before the rain starts on Saturday night.

Contributed / AmyLeigh Arntson

After graduating from the University of North Dakota, Jon gained experience as a flight instructor and flew business jets. He left the industry in 2008 and in 2017 decided to open a family business with his wife, Ashley Parrott. She worked as a nurse and Jon owned a business.

They dreamed of creating a candy store tourist destination and bought a hot air balloon as a marketing tool. Chapman provided Jon’s training to get an extra grade on his pilot’s license.

Brea Parrott, 15, of Wright, secures the tie line on the basket. Brea’s father and licensed pilot, Jon Parrott, later inspects all of his work. Brea has been interested in hot air ballooning for several years and is old enough to start getting her pilot’s license.

Contributed / AmyLeigh Arntson

“The best thing I’ve learned about ballooning is community. It’s a community where you meet people who have the same love and passion for flying. In the sport of ballooning, it’s there’s a lot of work to do — setting things up, taking things apart and putting things together, but if someone asks or needs something, everyone pitches in,” Jon said.

Volunteer chase team NataLee Hakamaki, from Cromwell, helps Joseph Chapman and his father and pilot, Ed Chapman, wrap the balloon after landing. Chapman’s balloon, “Fire and Frost” weighs 324 pounds.

Contributed / AmyLeigh Arntson

Prior to the opening of the Sweetly Kismet candy store on June 26, 2020, the Parrotts were firing on all cylinders to clear the land, build a road and prepare the site for the candy warehouse. Nestled in the pines behind Kwik Trip on Highway 210 in Twin Lakes Township, it’s located minutes from Jay Cooke State Park.

“The first summer we opened was an uncertain time with the COVID-19 pandemic, but we were very well received by the community. In our second season, we had supply chain issues It was a challenge to get products, but it’s getting better. This summer, it’s finally been a bit of a normal year,” Jon said. “We’re growing and getting bigger, but we have to adapt to everything. that the world has in store for us at all times.”

Sweetly Kismet Candy Store in Carlton offers over 3,500 products.

Brielle Bredsten/Duluth News Tribune

At 4,500 square feet, the niche gift shop’s shelves are overflowing with 3,500 candies, sodas and other snacks. A true family business, the couple’s three children and two sheltie puppies, Pez and Pixie, warmly welcome customers.

Tractor rides, food trucks, and outdoor activities like children’s games, roasting marshmallows, and hot dogs over an open fire take place throughout the fall in Kismet. And, of course, there are occasional hot air balloon rides attached to the store, depending on weather conditions. Event details can be found on the Sweetly Kismet Candy Store Facebook page at @ultimatetcandyexperience.

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Children play at an outdoor play dough station located at the Sweetly Kismet candy store in Carlton over Labor Day weekend.

Brielle Bredsten/Duluth News Tribune