Sandy celebrated its annual Balloon Festival from Aug. 11-12 with thousands of visitors from across the state.
The festival, which started in 2007, has become an important part of the community and is distinctly unique to the city of Sandy, according to the Mayor of Sandy, Monica Zoltanski.
“People come from all over to enjoy the balloon festival and it really sparks a sense of civic pride,” Zoltanski said.
The event started with a launch party at sunrise on Friday and Saturday at the Storm Mountain Park in Sandy where visitors came to watch the balloons take off into the sky. However, due to strong winds the balloons were not able to take flight.
“We’re at the mercy of Mother Nature, with the winds, with the moisture and other things,” Atkinson said.
Some of the attendees were disappointed that the balloons were not able to take flight due to the unforeseen weather conditions.
“We’re a bit disappointed, especially that well, it’s just like an annual event, so I don’t know if they will do it again,” Lem Amparo, a festival attendee said.
On Saturday evening, the city of Sandy hosted their annual glow event at the City Promenade where visitors watched as hot air balloons were laid out and inflated by the pilots during sunset.
As the sun disappeared, the propane burners from the large balloons began illuminating the City Promenade creating the glow that the event is named after.
“It’s a really unique opportunity for Sandy, and because of our weather, because of the flight patterns from the airport, we’re able to do it with the FAA, with coordination from them,” Events coordinator, Katie Atkinson said.
Attendees also had the opportunity to listen to a free concert, eat at the different food trucks and participate in one of the many activities available.
“We’ve tried to find other aspects to our festival, even if the balloons aren’t able to launch,” Atkinson said.
At the conclusion of the event, a drone show was put on by the city of Sandy. The drone show is a new tradition which started in 2022, according to Atkinson. The show ended with a tribute to the city which celebrated its 130th anniversary.
As visitors get ready for next years event, they can plan on another drone show as well as additional activities to accompany the balloon festival.