Ballooning with excitement

Eye Opener: There is no more beautiful view than from the basket of a hot air balloon. Photo: File.
Eye Opener: There is no more beautiful view than from the basket of a hot air balloon. Photo: File.

It's time to turn your eyes to the skies once again as the Supagas Canowindra International Balloon Challenge gets underway and celebrates a decade of success. Following record breaking crowds and participation last year, 2019 promises nothing less than a week full of action, fun, spectacles and of course amazing balloons of different colour and design. Following the 2018 event, Assistant Director of the Canowindra International Balloon Challenge Adam Barrow, labelled the crowd one of the largest he'd seen in the event's history with an estimate of eight to ten thousand people.

Creative Constructions: Kermie the Frog casts his eyes over the other exciting balloons. Photo: File.

Creative Constructions: Kermie the Frog casts his eyes over the other exciting balloons. Photo: File.

2019 will see the Balloon Challenge run from April 19 to April 28, with Media and Marketing Manager and Co-founder of the Challenge Jan Kerr, saying this year will be bigger. "The Balloon Challenge is always growing in popularity which is why we had to move from the sports ground to the showground,' she said. "This is our tenth year and it is such a magic time in Canowindra. It is amazing how much the event has grown over the past decade and it provides so much to the local people and local economy".

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Such is the growth of the event that Jan said earlier this year the Canowindra International Balloon Challenge was successful in obtaining a grant of $50,000 from the NSW Governments Event Fund to appoint a Festival Director. "The Balloon Challenge has always been run by volunteers but as it grew, we really needed someone to be across all the events and focus on our marketing," she said. "We were lucky enough to secure the services of Joel Ulbricht, who has a tremendous background in festivals and has been fantastic to work with".

Eye catching displays: A crowd of over 10,000 is expected across the week at the 2019 Supagas Canowindra International Balloon Challenge. Photo: File.

Eye catching displays: A crowd of over 10,000 is expected across the week at the 2019 Supagas Canowindra International Balloon Challenge. Photo: File.

With the high level of interest, visitors to this years Supagas Canowindra International Balloon Challenge are urged to make sure they secure accommodation quickly with vacancies around the region becoming hard to find. "We have up to 700 campsites at the showground and people can also camp at the sports ground and have filled a large number of those sites," Jan said. "The pubs and motels in the area are also so filling up fast so it's best to get in quick".

Canowindra will host a range of events around the Balloon Challenge including the Pilot Meet and Greet, Flickerfest Short Film Festival, the Age of Fishes Museum Activity Day and the Campfire Cookout and Anzac Concert. For more information visit www.canowindrachallenge.org.au.