Hot air balloonist Wendell Purvis, from Tallahassee, Florida, flies hot air balloons at several different festivals each summer…but Presque Isle, Maine has become his home away from home. He says that’s because “This area has such an asset in it’s scenery and it’s friendly people.”
So, he is very excited to be one of the hot air balloon pilots at this years Crown of Maine Balloon Fest, which kicks off Thursday night at 5 PM with a street fair on main street Presque Isle. The Executive Director of the Central Aroostook Chamber of Commerce, Theresa Fowler, says that the street fair “is going to be as big or bigger than ever. A day at the beach will be a lot of fun, you know, some Hawaiian shirts being sported. There’s the Spuddy recovery, there’s a dunking booth and of course lot’s of food!”
The crown of Maine balloon festival chair, Floyd Rockholt, says there are a lot of other great events going on as well. ”On Friday we have the morning launch and then around 4 o’clock everything at the fairgrounds starts, they’ll have vendors there and they will have a launch around 6 o’clock.”
Balloon launches continue Saturday and Sunday, morning and evening…plus musical entertainment and youth day events. Theresa Fowler, of the Presque Isle Chamber says the balloon fest is not only well received each year, but also a boost for the economy as “it attracts people to Presque Isle specifically. And of course it’s a multi day event and people come and stay for multiple days…So it’s an economic stimulus for the area.”
And for those brave enough to board a hot air balloon and take flight, hot air balloon pilot Wendell Purvis says you will barely even know your flying because “it’s a different kind of sensation, very peaceful, very gentle, you very seldom feel the breeze and it’s just a great way to see, experience mother nature at it’s best.”
To reserve your place on a hot air balloon you can call the Central Aroostook Chamber of Commerce. For a full listing of events you can visit www.crownofmaineballoonfest.org.