GRANTS PASS, Ore. — Excitement was in the air all weekend long at the Grants Pass Balloon & Kite Festival. The 3rd annual event wrapped up on Sunday.
The three-day event featured balloon launches during the day and a balloon glow at night. The event also offered tethered rides on Saturday and Sunday.
90-year-old Ginny Anderson was the first person to take off on Sunday. She said a hot air balloon ride was on her bucket list.
“I’ve gone zip lining and I thought this was the other thing left that I really wanted to do,” Anderson, said.
Over the three days, organizers said more than 5,000 people attended the festival.
“When you come to the festival site after the morning launches, we’ve got kids activities, monster truck, we’ve got bands,” Caleb Laplante, Festival Organizer, said.
Proceeds from the event go towards three organizations that help support kids who are abused, neglected, or in need of a foster home.
“These programs right in our community is making a huge difference, a program like this or a festival like this can go a long way,” said Josh Schaubroeck, Executive Director of the non-profit Every Child.
Organizers said this is the 25th anniversary of the smoky bear balloon flying and it’s the only festival the balloon will fly at in Oregon this year.
With attendance up for the 2nd straight year, they say they hope the trend will continue next year.
For more information about the festival, click here.