Vendors, Volunteers Come Together for Extravagant Event


Ashley Bucknum, Reporter

Lake Havasu City’s annual Balloon Festival has come and gone once again. Beginning on January 10, colorful hot air balloons, various food vendors, entertainment and more enlivened our town. It takes many hands to organize an event as extravagant as Balloon Fest, but what exactly goes into operating all the balloons?

Over 50 hot air balloons took flight during the 2019 Balloon Festival. That’s an impressive number, but what is more impressive is the amount of work that goes into it. Balloon Fest would not be possible without the generosity of local volunteers and the determination of staff members. Balloon pilot Mark Boulet said that many hands go into making the event spectacular.

A single hot air balloon is an entire project in itself. Each balloon requires a trained and certified pilot to manage it. Three to five people are needed to inflate the balloon, which is a process that can take up to 30 minutes. Sounds like a great deal of work right? Now imagine 20 hot air balloons being inflated at the same time. This is just a slight glimpse of the work done by the festival’s crew members.

The diligent efforts of the staff and volunteers certainly did not go without appreciation. Many smiling faces filled the baskets of hot air balloons as they ascended into the sky. “It was an exhilarating experience to be flying hundreds of feet in the air in only a basket,” sophomore Hayley Bartel said.

Balloon Fest drew to a close on January 13. As the day neared its end, balloons were packed away, vendors closed their booths and citizens retired to their homes. While it may not be easy to say goodbye to this year’s festival, the dedicated crew that made the event possible has given our town something to look forward to next year.