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7:30 PM Tue, Oct. 23rd

Rotary Balloon Fest returns; seven balloons to glow Saturday evening

Spectators watch the balloon launch at Mountain Valley Park in 1999. (Cheryl Hartz/Tribune, file)

Spectators watch the balloon launch at Mountain Valley Park in 1999. (Cheryl Hartz/Tribune, file)

After two years of not being able to pay for and have it, the Prescott Valley Rotary Club is bringing back the Prescott Valley Rotary Balloon Fest and is putting a new spin on it, said Rotary President Chuck Abbott.

The club has been defunct for the past couple of years and it’s being rebuilt with having the top focus be on issues in Prescott Valley, Abbott said. Further, in bringing back the Balloon Fest, it’s not just going to be showing off the balloons and taking pictures, he said.

“We’ve put together this plan where we’re going to sponsor (Yavapai Big Brothers Big Sisters) and raise $10,000,” he said. “We’ve already done that and we’re going to give (it) to them to fund the lease for their new office here in Prescott Valley.”

The $10,000 was provided by the sponsors as well, the release stated.

There is no entry fee to the event, due to the club’s partnership with area businesses to sponsor the event, but there are giveaways and free items for those who come early, according to a prior news release from Abbott. Seven balloons are planned, and though they’re not going to fly, mainly due to the lack of successful launches at this elevation, they will be tied down and glowing in the evening Abbott said.

The event itself starts at 1 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 22, with the glow beginning at 5 p.m. at the Entertainment District at Park Avenue and Main Street. Also included are Corvettes, a wine and beer garden, arts, food and a kid’s zone. Music will be provided by Llory McDonald & Combo Deluxe, Sky Daddy & The Pop

Rocks and the Denise Allen Band.

However, even though there won’t be any balloons flying during the event Saturday, a few are going to launch Sunday, Sept. 23 that aren’t part of the festival, Abbott said.

“We’ve invited balloonists up Sunday morning to take off,” he said. “It’s not a part of our festival for insurance reasons.”

There might be 10 or 12 or even 20 balloonists taking off Sunday morning around 6 or 7 a.m., Abbott said.

The Yavapai Big Brothers Big Sisters office opening in Prescott Valley at 3681 N. Robert Road will be the organization’s third office, said President & CEO Juliana Goswick in the release. The office will support the organization’s strategic plan of greater child outreach and recruitment in one of the fastest growing areas of Yavapai County, Goswick said.

“We just got one step closer to our vision — that every child in Yavapai County and Sedona will succeed in life through the guidance and support of a caring Big Brother or Big Sister,” she said. “It is with great gratitude that we honor Prescott Valley Rotary who have named the 92 current waiting Little Brothers and Sisters in Prescott Valley as beneficiary of the (Prescott Valley) Rotary Balloon Fest. It is only through

the support of our community as volunteers, investors and sponsors that we can strengthen our youth and provide opportunities for promising futures.”

It feels good putting life back into the Balloon Fest, Abbott said. The plan is to do it and raise $10,000 every year for the organization, he said.

For more information on the Prescott Valley Rotary Balloon Fest, visit www.2018balloonfest.com.