A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away…..
On behalf of myself and the entire Board of Directors, we want to welcome you to the 24th annual Great Falls Balloon Festival!
This year’s “The Force Takes Flight” theme will feature two special shapes— Master Yoda & Darth Vader. We are very excited about this year’s theme and hope that it adds to the enthusiasm and energy that our community never fails to bring to the festival. In addition to these very special balloons, we will have more than twenty other hot air balloons to make this another spectacular summer weekend. All of these balloons are the awe-inspiring focal point for this annual festival. Whether you look forward to standing beside balloons inflating on the field, catching some vibrant photos, watching them launch into the twin cities’ skyline, touching down onto the water in front of the falls, or glowing in the night sky— we cannot wait to have you join us.
In addition to the balloons, we have a fun-filled weekend with free activities for all ages to enjoy! Go visit “The Riding of RavensBridge” – they will be set up again this year in their medieval encampment at Bonney Park for the weekend. We will continue to have entertainment all weekend on stages in Lewiston at Simard-Payne Memorial Park and in Auburn at Festival Plaza, and of course Family Fun Day on Sunday. In addition to the live bands, local dancers, and cheerleaders – we have quite a few new sorts of entertainment this year! GRAMMY® nominated singer Judy Pancoast will be entertaining everyone with two separate performances. “Pups in the Air” will be demonstrating their talented performing canines throughout the whole weekend! Maine Event Comedy will have a whole hour showcase of sidesplitting local comedians! Calling all Princess Leias. Chewbaccas & Luke Skywalkers – we will be hosting a costume contest on the main stage with a very exciting grand prize! On Saturday morning, the festival parade promises to be even bigger and better than ever before, with over fifty groups participating! All weekend we will have carnival rides, craft and trade booths and even some free giveaways.
Finally, let’s not forget the many, many food offerings provided by our local non-profit organizations. The mission of the festival, for 24 years, has been to provide a major fundraising opportunity for various local non-profit groups. Last year, 35 different organizations raised funds to benefit groups right here in our community. You will find a diverse selection of food and beverages, with something to please everyone’s taste buds. The Board will be hosting the Pancake Breakfast again this year on Saturday and Sunday mornings under the tent. Come and watch the morning launch and then sit down and enjoy breakfast!
The festival would not be possible without the efforts of many. Our volunteer Board, committee members, festival volunteers, non-profit groups and the cities of Lewiston and Auburn all contribute endless hours and in-kind services that make this festival weekend happen. We encourage everyone to remember the mission of the festival and support our local non-profit organizations participating in the festival this year in exchange for a unique and exciting event. If you have the opportunity, say thank you to the many, many volunteers, sponsors, city councilors and local businesses that support this festival. In addition, a special thank you to the landowners in L/A and the surrounding communities that provide a safe place for our balloons to land.
So come on out and join us for our 24th annual celebration! Support your community, catch up with friends and neighbors, volunteer, enjoy a wide variety of mouth-watering foods, watch the entertainment and maybe even enjoy a glorious balloon ride!
May the Force be with you,
Morgan Hamlyn, President
Great Falls Balloon Festival 2016