Duluth to host international hot air balloon festival in September

Sen. Roger Reinert addressed the local media and project supporters at a press conference announcing the inaugural Duluth Balloon Festival in September at Bayfront Festival Park in Duluth. Howie / HowieBlog.com (iPhone)

Sen. Roger Reinert addressed the local media and project supporters at a press conference announcing the inaugural Duluth Balloon Festival in September at Bayfront Festival Park in Duluth. Howie / HowieBlog.com (iPhone)

Le Festival des Montgolfières à Duluth, a.k.a. the Duluth Balloon Festival, will be held Sept. 20-22 at Bayfront Festival Park in Duluth, event organizers and sponsors announced today. The free event will feature hot air balloons and hands-on activities in a family event.

duluthballoonfestivalSenator Roger Reinert and Duluth Mayor Don Ness said they are excited the Duluth Airshow and event organizers have seized an event of this caliber to join Duluth’s growing list of powerhouse events and festivals.

Roger Reinert

Roger Reinert

“I can’t wait to see the colorful fleet of hot air balloons along the Duluth waterfront,” said Reinert. “Similar to tall ships, the ‘Montgolfières’ are a sight to behold. I am pleased the Duluth Airshow has been able to secure another aviation event of this caliber for our region, one that celebrates a very special form of flight.”

Attendees will have a chance to view potential launches two hours after sunrise and two hours before sunset as well as take tethered balloon flights during the festival.

Ness said the festival is another excellent example of the sort of events Duluth’s waterfront, and the prime location of Bayfront Festival Park, can attract.

Don Ness

Don Ness

“The event marks a special blend of Duluth history, joining our French and aviation heritages and bringing them together during the peak of fall colors,” said Ness.

Ryan Kern, Duluth Airshow president and the lead organizer of the event, said the Duluth Balloon Festival will also offer educational opportunities for attendees, in addition to the other activities and entertainment that will take place at the festival.

“Flight has mystified people for generations,” said Kern. “The Duluth Airshow is proud to bring another event to the community that features the importance of aviation to our region.”

Top local corporate citizen St. Luke’s Hospital of Duluth is a major event sponsor.

“St. Luke’s is pleased to be the initial partner of the Duluth Balloon Festival, an event which will allow families to spend time together on the shore of beautiful Lake Superior,” St. Luke’s CEO John Strange said.

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