Today is Montgolfier Day, the anniversary of the first untethered balloon flight. The Montgolfier brothers flew over Paris for about 25 minutes. The year was 1783. Can you imagine the excitement they felt...and the strange reactions they got from those on the ground?
Those of us who live around Iredell County are pretty accustomed to seeing balloons flying around, but for some of us the thrill just doesn't go away. It's always exciting to spot one and never fails to make us thankful to be experiencing life.
As we celebrate that flight of the Montgolfier brothers, we celebrated something else pretty amazing in Statesville tonight. At our annual volunteer appreciation dinner, we celebrated a successful festival. Surely the sight of 50 balloons flying around the area makes the festival pretty special. The amazing crowds, the incredible entertainment, the wares of the vendors, the joy shining on faces... all incredibly special. All of this alone would be enough to call the festival a success.
But that's not all there is. Funds raised through the festival help non-profit groups that do great things in the community. Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, cheerleaders, college students, struggling parents, children, and cancer patients will all benefit from the money raised. $60,000 was distributed to organizations that support these people, and others in our community, tonight. If you attended Carolina BalloonFest, you helped make this possible. Thank you so much for your support for our local charities. Great things will be done with that money. All because you came out to see some balloons! Yes, that is what we call the good part!
We thank the Carolina BalloonFest board, who put their hearts, souls, and a whole lot of time into providing leadership for the festival. We thank the approximately 600 volunteers who gave up hours of their lives to lend a hand. We thank the pilots and their crews, some who travel long distances to join us, and all who share their love of the sport with our community. We thank our corporate sponsors, businesses who don't just make money but give back to our community...we wish you much continued success. This year we especially thank the historians, media, photographers and special people who returned to celebrate our 40th anniversary. It was a special weekend!
Forty years is a great milestone, but the next journey is just beginning. Carolina BalloonFest 41 is coming next October 17-19. Will you join us? Save the date! We'll be looking for you.
On The Breeze ~
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