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This week’s edition!

Great Falls Balloon Festival

Bonjour! ¡Hola! Hello! Guten Tag! Ciao!

Come travel with us! On behalf of myself and the entire Board of Directors, we want to welcome you to the 23rd annual Great Falls Balloon Festival!

First and foremost, we would like to take this opportunity to say THANK YOU to our community as a whole. As you know, the festival has had some particularly dark times during the early planning stages this year. We have been so overwhelmed by the outpouring of support for this great event, helping to get the festival “re-energized”! We would not have been able to help this festival go on without the backing of such a wonderful and generous community, and the financial support brought by the partnerships with other community events, Dempsey Challenge & Liberty Festival.

This year’s “Let’s Travel” theme will feature three special shapes— Aquario the Fishbowl, Jewel the Hummingbird and Planet Earth. In addition to these very special balloons, we will have more than fifteen 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 in their medieval encampment at Bonney Park for the weekend. They will be performing demonstrations at various times and locations on both Saturday & Sunday. The ZuZu African Acrobats are making a stop on their Got Talent World Tour 2015 as well! We will continue to have entertainment on stages in Lewiston at Simard-Payne Memorial Park and in Auburn at Festival Plaza, including live bands, local dancers, cheerleaders and of course Family Fun Day on Sunday. 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 23 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! Stay after the launch on Sunday and watch the L/A Bridge Run, final 5k of the Triple Crown, participants pass through Simard-Payne Memorial Park.

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 23rd 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!

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