Winter Weather and Holiday Hot Air Ballooning Festivals and More
As the warm weather fades and the cooler air starts to seep in, events that were prominent throughout the summer cease and winter weather activities startup. However, if you happen to be a hot air ballooning enthusiast there is no need to concern yourself over the yearlong wait for festivities regarding your favorite past time. There are numerous hot air ballooning festivals that are currently taking place and several that continue throughout the winter season all the way into December.
Take a peek below to get a glimpse at what hot air balloon festivals and activities are scheduled throughout the winter and holiday seasons.
Leon International Balloon Festival (11/17-11/20, 2017 Guanajuato, México)
Festival de Globos de Leon or Leon International Balloon Festival lasts over three days and is scheduled to start on November 17, 2017, and continue throughout the 20th. The festivities are expected to take place in the city of Leon situated in the state of Guanajuato, México. Considered one of the best in the world, the hot air balloon festival features over 200 hot air balloons hailing from over 23 countries including the United States, Colombia, the United Kingdom and Japan.
Since it’s start in 2002 with only 27 balloons, the festival has grown exponentially with last years attendance at half a million visitors. Further features of the hot air balloon festival include campground accessibility for visitors and a night glow featuring glowing balloon envelopes and a music show. There are no hot air balloon rides, tethered or otherwise, offered to attendees at this festival.
For more information visit this link http://www.festivaldelglobo.com.mx/eng/index.php
Les Nessman Memorial Turkey Drop (11/23/2017 Danville, Illinois)
As an homage to the character Less Nessman of well-loved television sitcom WKRP in Cincinnati which aired from 1978 until 1982, the Danville Balloon Group has established a turkey drop.
For those who may not be familiar with the beloved TV show, it is set against the backdrop of a dysfunctional and struggling radio station and features a cast of loveable characters. One of which is Les Nessman, news anchor, and bow tie connoisseur, who despite the appearance of not adequately being qualified for his position approaches it with comical zeal. In one of the top-rated Thanksgiving television episodes of all time station manager, Mr. Carlson, in an effort to raise ratings, arranges for a top secret Thanksgiving “promotion.” He drops turkeys from a helicopter on a crowd of bystanders who have gathered as Les is giving his nightly report. This was unfortunate as some of the turkeys did not survive the drop and the few who did begin attacking the crowd. After which, all kinds of hilarity ensues.
The turkey drop is expected to take place at Carlton Farms, in Danville, Illinois on the morning of Thanksgiving. According to reports, balloonists will not be dropping live turkeys as the aforementioned story informs, they aren’t great at flying. Therefore, what they have dropped in the past are rubber chickens. In previous experience, some have indicated the balloonists go all out decorating the birds prior to the drop. The turkey drop began as a local tradition but has spread in popularity attracting pilots and the public as well.
Balloons over Christmas in the Ville (12/02/2017 Fowlerville, Michigan)
Part of the local event Christmas in the Ville, which started 25 years ago as an ongoing Christmas parade that grew into a full-scale village function featuring Christmas treat decorating, Santa’s workshop crafts and activities, chili eating by the fire, and hot air balloons. Balloonists dedicate one day to partaking in the festivities. The event takes place in Fowlerville, Michigan at the Woodshire Place Banquet Facility. On Saturday, December 2, as many as 30 to 40 balloonists participate in the parade down Grand River and at night fill the sky with illuminated orbs in the night glow flight.
Link to festivities http://christmasintheville.com/
The ABC5 (12/20-12/22, 2017 Phoenix, Arizona
Another honorable mention includes the Arizona Balloon Classic hot air balloon festival. This event is expected to commence on December 20 through the 22nd at Fear Farm Sports & Entertainment Complex in Phoenix, Arizona. This year they are celebrating their seventh anniversary. Expected to attract at least 20,000 visitors and feature up to 50 air balloons, the festivities include an international food court, fireworks display, vendors and family-friendly activities.
The Arizona Balloon Classic hot air balloon festival is a fundraising event that benefits the ASU (Arizona State University) Student Scholarship Fund and serves as a food drive for local food pantries. There are numerous offerings for pilots including access to accommodation, tailgating, pilot’s parties and more. Children 12 and younger, as well as active Military, are free. It has been rumored Santa is expected to pay a visit as well.
More information for pilots and attendees can be found here https://www.facebook.com/ArizonaBalloonClassic/