Up, up and away
The Canowindra Balloon Challenge attracted over 11,000 people to City of Orange, New South Wales, last year and injected over $1 million into the economy.
In 2019, a record 47 pilots from around Australia and around the world, registered to participate in the challenge held last month.
According to competition director, Adam Barrow, this was a massive achievement.
“This makes the Canowindra Challenge one of the biggest balloon events ever held in Australia, and easily the biggest in the last 25 years."
Of the 47 balloons registered, 20 were competitors, however 30-35 balloons flew every morning.
Orange360 General Manager, Caddie Marshall, said the Canowindra International Balloon Challenge was an ideal vehicle for promoting the wide-ranging appeal of the Orange region to Australia and the rest of the world.
“How fantastic it is to have such a renowned and well-respected sporting challenge in Canowindra, Australia’s home of hot air ballooning.
“Once again our local operators are really putting our region on the map and giving locals and visitors alike a reason to come out and enjoy everything we have to offer, all year round.”
Canowindra Challenge founders, Jan and Graham Kerr celebrated their tenth annual balloon challenge.
“We’re so proud that the Challenge we started in 2010 has grown to this significant internationals event, attracting pilots from across the globe.”
Filling out the festival program were Flickerfest short film festival, the Key Grab at which the pilots attempt to grab a key from a 20m pole, a campfire and cookout at the showgrounds.
The highlight event, Cabonne Country Balloon Glow, featured an after dark lightshow created by the balloons as their burners lit up the night seeming almost to dance to the music.