Visakhapatnam

All set for hot balloon festival

HRD Minister Ganta Srinivasa Rao with hot air balloon pilots after a press conference in Visakhapatnam on Sunday.

HRD Minister Ganta Srinivasa Rao with hot air balloon pilots after a press conference in Visakhapatnam on Sunday.  

The three-day event will be a grand spectacle, says Ganta

Over 6,200 persons have registered for the Araku Balloon Festival that is set to brighten up the skies above the Eastern Ghats from November 14 to 16.

Announcing this at a press conference here on Sunday, HRD Minister Ganta Srinivasa Rao said the festival would be a rare spectacle in which 16 balloons from 13 countries would be taking part.

As part of the three-day extravaganza, there would be morning flights, para-motoring activities and evening tethers on all three days of the festival.

“The purpose behind organising the festival is to promote the destination of Araku at the national and international platform. Eco-tourism travel experiences and adventure will be the key highlights to be focused upon,” said Samit Garg, CEO of E-Factor and SkyWaltz, the firm organising the festival in association with AP Tourism.

The balloon flight would be held every morning from 7 a.m. to 8.30 a.m. “Six locations have been identified in the valley by the hot air balloon pilots for the flight. Depending on wind direction, the pilots will decide the take-off place every morning,” Mr Garg added.

Role of weather

Responding to a question on the role of weather on the balloon flights, Mr. Garg said that balloon flights were subjected to weather conditions. “Only if the weather is conducive the balloons can be launched. However, the weather conditions are so far favourable,” he added. The hot air balloons will fly up to a height of 5,000 feet above sea level. In the evenings of the three-day festival, the skies will light up with virtual sound and light performance of the flares lighting up the colourful balloons to the sound of music from 6.30 p.m. to 8 p.m. Tethered flights will be available for a few select winners of an online contest on www.arakuballoonfestival.

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The event will have a large participation by international balloonists from 13 countries of India, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, France, Italy, Malaysia, New Zealand, Philippines, South Korea, Spain, Switzerland and USA.

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Printable version | May 28, 2020 11:29:53 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Visakhapatnam/all-set-for-hot-balloon-festival/article20377784.ece

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