ANGOLA, IN - Hot air balloons will fill the skies over Steuben County in July, but Angola Balloons Aloft will look a lot different than previous years.
According to Tim Crooks, Event Director, There will not be any activities at Angola High School. In a statement, Crooks said they “have eliminated the kids fun zone, food court, educational displays, characters, tractor displays, vendors, helicopter rides and Meet the Fleet”. He said many will ask why they did this, and he says organizers “felt they could not provide the proper items needed to keep visitors safe, such as cleaning the restrooms after each use, water for hand washing, safe social distancing and proper disposal of trash”. In addition, Crooks said they would also need to sanitize all of the fun zone activities.
Between the sponsors, not-for-profits, and other members of the community, the annual event takes hundreds of hours of planning and more than 400 volunteers. Crooks said after everyone’s lives changed in March due to the pandemic, they began planning how they could put on an event that would lift the community’s spirits and keep everyone safe. Crooks said they are still “working out many details”.
As of right now, the balloons will start their weekend competition Friday evening, July 10. Typically, approximately 35 balloons participate, but this year, 17 competition and three special shape balloons will participate. “Balloons will fill the skies Friday night, Saturday morning and evening plus Sunday morning,” Crooks said. “This is all wind and weather permitting. Our competition director is working hard to find different launch areas and targets in and around the Angola area so people will be able to see the balloons from their homes or other safe areas.”
The popular balloon illumination is tentatively set for Friday night at approximately 9:15 p.m. at the high school. “We’re still working out the details,” Crooks said. “People will need to stay in their cars to view the illuminations. A few balloons might glow at another location in Angola, allowing for people to safely park and view them.”
The balloons will also fly Saturday morning and evening, July 11, as well as Sunday morning, July 12.
The classic car cruise, normally held at the high school, will take to the roads as part of Angola Balloons Aloft. On Saturday, July 11, participants will cruise through the county, stopping briefly at various surrounding areas for people to view the cars from a safe distance.
Angola Balloons Aloft will begin selling special T-shirts in mid-June. These shirts will list all of the sponsors and proceeds will be given to the Steuben County Community Foundation to be distributed to various not-for-profits later this year.
In close, Crooks said they are asking that everyone be patient because Angola Balloons Aloft 2020 is still a work in progress”. The best way to stay updated on the event is to follow us on Facebook.
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