Indiana State Balloon Festival takes to the skies

March 26 2008

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. - Wabash Valley residents will have a unique opportunity to catch a large gathering of hot air balloons this weekend at a festival organized by Indiana State University students.

Hot Air Ballooning of ISU (HABISU), a student organization, will host the Indiana State Balloon Festival March 28, 29 and 30 at Rec East and Rec North fields, located north of the Colleges of Education and Business.

This three-day event will provide a close look at hot air balloons and how they operate. There will be eight to 12 balloons on site, including a 78-foot tall polar bear balloon making its debut.

Paul Felty, a senior aviation major from Osceola, Ind., will have his balloon, a 1979 Adams Pop-Top, at the festival. Felty has an interest in hot air ballooning thanks to his grandparents who crewed for a balloon team.

“We want residents and families to come out and enjoy the beauty and tranquility of the balloons and have fun,” said Felty, a licensed balloon pilot.

Tether rides, during which the balloon ascends to about 50 feet while being anchored to the ground, will be available for $10. Sixteen spots for one hour unthethered rides will be on sale for $125 per person. Proceeds from the rides will go to HABISU to fund future activities. Festival goers can register for three one-hour unthethered rides, which will be given away as door prizes.

The real show, according to Felty, is catching the balloons in flight.

Flight schedule (WEATHER PERMITTING):
Friday, March 28
3:30 p.m. Afternoon activities begin
4:30 p.m. Afternoon flight

Saturday, March 29
7:30 a.m. Morning flight
3:30 p.m. Afternoon activities begin
4:30 p.m. Afternoon flight
Sunset Evening glow

Sunday, March 30
7:30 a.m. Morning flight

There will also be live music, comedy and food, provided by Ballyhoo Pizza. The event, sponsored by Student Government Association, is free and open to the public. Parking close to the festival in lots 15 and 18 is $3 for the general public.

HABISU, a student organization, was founded in April 2007 by Felty. The group, which boasts 18 members, has crewed for balloon teams participating in the Louisville’s Bluegrass Balloon Festival, Battle Creek (Mich) Holiday Balloon Festival and toured the Air Bus Balloon plant in Lawrenceville.

For more information about the festival or HABISU, email indianastateballoonfestival@yahoo.com .

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Contact: Paul Felty, founder of HabISU, indianastateballoonfestival@yahoo.com

Writer: Paula Meyer, ISU Communications & Marketing, (812) 237-3783 or pmeyer4@isugw.indstate.edu

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Story Highlights

Wabash Valley residents will have a unique opportunity to catch a large gathering of hot air balloons this weekend (March 28, 29 and 30)at a festival organized by Indiana State University students.

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