|September 21, 2012 6:00 am||to||September 23, 2012 6:00 pm|
Spirit of Kentucky Balloon Festival
September 21 – September 23, 2012
9710 Park Plaza Ave
Louisville, KY United States 40241
4th weekend in September
Number of balloons: 50
Year began: 1999
First launched in 1999, the Bluegrass Balloon Festival has quickly become the largest ballooning event in Kentucky and one of the top ten in the United States. For many years local pilots gathered together to give back to the community by having a year end balloon glow at Bowman Field. When the local event was cancelled due to the lack of funds, Adam Burckle, the founder of Adam Matthews, came up with an idea that led to this festival.
Fifty two balloons participated the first year to kick off what would become a very succesful event. Many of the pilots were local , while some pilots came from far across the United States. In the first year the Festival raised $20,000 for the Dream Factory, an organization that helps grant wishes to children with life threatening illnesses. What makes this even more surprising is the fact that the event is free to all who attend.
In the second year, (2000), 70 balloons from across the United States gathered to help make the event a spectacular festival. In fact, the entries were limited to 70 balloons, and there was a waiting list of those that were eager to participate.
In 2001, due to the tragic events of September 11, flight at the festival was in doubt. Due to the petitioning of the festival, the National Safety Council and the FAA decided to allow the flight of hot air balloons two days prior to what was suppose to be the opening of the festival. Approximately 75 balloons attended making this the largest balloon festival held in Kentucky’s history.
Web Site: http://www.skyballoonfest.com
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