Our View: Havasu Balloon Festival Can’t Happen Without Volunteers | Opinion

The Havasu Balloon Festival & Fair has become a Lake Havasu City staple, and after more than a decade, it’s easy to take the event for granted. However, no matter how easily the hot air balloon festival manages to pop up year after year, it wouldn’t happen without the contribution of hundreds of volunteers.

The fact that the festival is a great success every year, even with bad weather or a pandemic in the background, is a testament to the dedicated volunteers who serve throughout the duration of the event. Some of them work in visible roles, helping balloon pilots navigate their flight routes, directing traffic, or taking admission at entry gates. Others are not so visible and take care of things like distributing ice and removing rubbish. All of these roles are important for proper functioning.

The success of the Havasu Balloon Festival & Fair means the success of Lake Havasu City. The festival has raised approximately $1 million for local charities over the years, and the four-day event creates a significant economic ripple effect for local businesses as more visitors seek it out each year. .

The thing is, this year’s event has an unusual need for volunteers. It’s hard to say why the numbers are down – the shortened version of last year’s event, thanks to the covid-19 pandemic, probably has something to do with it, as people who register normally immediately left the old routines. Either way, organizers say the event requires around 1,800 to 1,900 volunteer shifts. This week, there were still around 700 volunteer quarters available – and with the event only weeks away, there isn’t much time to fill them.

Luckily, it doesn’t take a lot of time or commitment to lend a hand, and there are big benefits to doing so. Most volunteer shifts last only a few hours, and volunteers receive free entry to the four-day event.

Volunteers can sign up at any time by clicking “Volunteer Now” on the event website or by going directly to havasuballoonfest.org. Once registered, volunteers can choose their shift on the website.

No one quite knew what to expect when the Balloon Festival first launched in 2011, but this community embraced the concept and helped create what would become one of Lake Havasu City’s signature events. Let’s continue to support him so that he stays that way.

— Today’s Herald