Parks board discusses possible hot air balloon, kite festival
Would need a lot of room, recreation lead says
David Somerville, board member on the Chino Valley Parks & Recreation Advisory Board, pitched his idea for a future hot air balloon and kite festival at the Tuesday, Sept. 3, meeting.
It would be a celebration of wind as a power source for recreation, Somerville said. It could include kite battling contests, windmill and power generator displays; mechanical amusements; drones and drone races; a model airplane obstacle course; demonstrations of windmill technology, clouds and cloud patterns and how they affect weather and one by a sailing club; vendors with flags, banners, balloons, off the grid turbines, wind chimes, kites and small sailboats and more, he said. He also mentioned getting a hold of a blimp company and having small blimps fly with someone explaining their technological advances, Somerville said.
When it comes to possible sponsors, he said they could try to get the National Weather Service, the Goodyear Tire Company because of its blimp, drone manufacturers and model airplane clubs.
“Since it involves aeronautics, we can look at Embry-Riddle for a sponsor,” Somerville said. “I’m sure they could be interested.”
The event is something that the board could probably start working toward by next year, said Recreation Lead Dallas Gray. Somerville has a lot of ideas on his list to incorporate into one event, but they can start by focusing on the main things and having a place to begin helps, Gray said, also bringing up Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. They might have some good resources, she said.
At the same time, it’s an event that would take a lot of room and would have to be done at Old Home Manor, Gray said.
Board Member Donna Armstrong said it could be done in the spring, opposite the numerous events the town has going on in the fall and summer.
“The other thing is, if we had this in April or May, then the fields are going to be clear and we’ll probably have to use the Mud Run area for vendors or something, which would also allow us to start cleaning up and have some of that cleaned up for the Mud Run so they wouldn’t have to work so hard,” Armstrong said.
On one hand, that’s a good idea, Gray said. On the other hand, town staff has to start working on getting the area ready for the Mud Run really early by keeping the weeds down and making sure there aren’t critters in the tires, she said. If the space was used in April, they would still have to do maintenance for the Mud Run, Gray said.
Looking ahead, Committee Chair Todd League said there needs to be some research on when it’s the windiest in Chino Valley.
“There’s got to be a pattern,” League said.