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Vernon  

Big balloons need your help

It is one of the most popular winter events in the North Okanagan, but the Balloon Fiesta can't do it without community support.

Cindy Brassard, with the North Okanagan Hot Air Balloon Society, says people have a chance to get in on the action.

Oct. 19 at the Village Green Hotel, there will be a ground crew training session, starting at 5 p.m. followed by a burger and beer event, a silent auction and other activities. Proceeds will go to the society that hopes to bring 15 balloonists to the 2019 Vernon Winter Carnival.

Sponsors are key to bringing the balloonists to Vernon. Brassard said it costs roughly $1,500 to bring each pilot and their craft to the area.

To help with the training, a pair of local balloon pilots will be on hand so volunteers can gain first-hand experience with the giant balloons.

The fiesta would be grounded without a strong volunteer base.

Brassard said some 100 volunteers are needed to help the event take off.

“Our pilots always need help to set the balloons up and take the balloons down,” said Brassard.

The beer and burger event – tickets are $20 with a portion going to the society – takes place in the hotel pub following the training session and balloon glow.

Silent auction items include a balloon ride for two during the fiesta, valued at $650, plus many other items with proceeds again going to make the fiesta happen.



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