Columbus Days Capped with Hot Air Balloon Regatta - FOX 14 TV Joplin and Pittsburg News Weather Sports |

Columbus Days Capped with Hot Air Balloon Regatta


    The Columbus Days Festival wound down  after a weekend of fun events.
    Sunday morning the Chamber  of Commerce held the most recognized  feature  of the festival , the hot air balloon regatta.
 Jean Pritchett, with the chamber explained, "This is our 28th year to do this hot air balloon regatta. We started it. We knew a couple of pilots and I worked with them to get one started. From that one until now it has grown, and we have anywhere from twelve to twenty pilots."
Becky Franklin showed up to watch the balloons fill the sky. She said, "I was excited like a little kid when I knew that some of them were actually going to go off because I knew there was fog at first .So they had a delay. But as soon as they started rolling them out, it was the excitement of a little kid."
Lori Hutchinson, a hot air balloon pilot said, "Every flight's different. Every flight's an amazing experience. Up there is home. So, I  love to fly."

When asked "What's it like being up in the air in one of those balloons?" Pilot Patti Langston said, "It's a little bit of heaven. Yeah, when I fly on Sundays I remind my folks at home that I'm a little closer to God than they are."

Pritchett said chamber members rest for about a week then begin planning next year's event.


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