2017 Balloon Challenge: Thousands ready to flock to Canowindra

The Hummingbird balloon will take flight in Canowindra during the International Balloon Challenge beginning on Tuesday, April 18.

The Hummingbird balloon will take flight in Canowindra during the International Balloon Challenge beginning on Tuesday, April 18.

Canowindra is gearing up for this year’s International Balloon Challenge, the town beginning to fill with balloonists and tourists highly anticipating the event’s seventh installment.

At the launch on Tuesday, April 4 at the Age of Fishes Museum on Gaskill Street, Mayor Ian Gosper labelled it a “very special event” for Cabonne country.

“Any festival that attracts thousands of people and regularly injects more than one million dollars a year into a country town’s economy is a very special event,” Cabonne Mayor Ian Gosper said.

“It promises to be even bigger and better. The organising committee and volunteers have worked incredibly hard and devoted countless hours of their own time to make this a flagship event that puts Canowindra, as well as Cabonne country, well and truly on the tourism map not only in Australia but internationally.”

There’ll be plenty happening in Canowindra throughout the eight day event.

Join in a three course meal on the upstairs balcony at the Old Vic Inn on Thursday, April 20. Try your hand at twilight barefoot bowls at the Bowling Club on Friday, April 21 or indulge in a Royal Hotel Dinner on the Verandah from 7pm. 

Discover Canowindra’s diversity, productivity and creativity at a Make It, Bake It or Grow It exhibition on April 22 and 23 at the Services Club Auditorium.

Also, make some time to Meet the Pilot on Thursday or Friday, April 20 or 21 at the Showground from 2pm and learn the ins and outs of hot air ballooning.

While there’s a big buzz in town for more than a week, some of the world’s best hot air balloon pilots will be battling it out in the sky for the 2017 Canowindra International Balloon Challenge title.

One of the more exciting tasks is the key grab which is taking place on Monday, April 24. The balloonists fly in and try to snatch the key off the top of a flag pole, making for spectacular viewing.

Flights are dependent on weather but balloons are scheduled to fly daily launching from Canowindra’s Sports Ovals between 6am-6.30am and 3.30pm-4pm. 

The Balloon Glow and night markets are always hugely popular and this year’s organisers are expecting more than 10,000 people to make their way to the Canowindra’s Sports Ovals on Saturday, April 22 to catch a glimpse of the spectacular event while enjoying local produce, wine, crafts and entertainment.

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