Sandy City’s Annual Balloon Festival to Take Flight Once Again
By Aimee L. Cook
Valley skies will be filled with hot air balloons once again as Sandy City launches its ninth annual Balloon Festival Aug.7 and 8. These colorful, 10-story-high balloons will depart between 7 to 7:30 a.m. on Aug.7 from Storm Mountain Park, 11400 South 1000 East. The public is welcome to come and enjoy the festivities and watch the balloons launch.
On Aug. 8 the balloons will take off again between 7 to 7:30 a.m. Guests will be able to see the balloons up close, and balloon activities will be available for children. Some pilots may need volunteers to help crew their hot air balloons, so come early to seek one out and get the thrill of helping a crew on a hot air balloon. Later that evening, from 8 to 10 p.m., the festivities will continue at the South Towne Promenade, 1000 South 175 West. There will be several food choices to enjoy for purchase and live entertainment will be on site while you wait for the balloon glow at 8:30 p.m. The balloons will take flight again, firing up their burners and lighting up the evening sky.
Mayor Tom Dolan brought the Balloon Festival to life in 2007. On Aug. 11 of that year, the first Balloon Festival was held on the Centennial Parkway, south of Sandy City Hall.
The first festival exceeded the expectations of the mayor and the city council and was such a hit in the community that it has become an annual event.
The city enlisted the skills of “Balloon Meister” Michael Bauwen, an FAA balloon pilot, to direct the event and keep things as safe as possible. Bauwen is charged with making the final decisions on whether or not conditions are favorable for launching the balloons, with wind being the most unpredictable factor. The balloon festival is free to the public.