24 March 2022
Public participation in Wairarapa Balloon Festival this Easter.
The much-loved Wairarapa Balloon Festival has been given a boost this week by the government’s decision to cease limits of the number of people attending outdoor gatherings. As one of the region’s flagship events, the festival will run for five days from 14-18 April with take-offs at different Wairarapa towns, delighting the whole community, and best of all, it will be completely free.
The public will now be able to enjoy each early morning launch spectacle by gathering at the launch site. The ascensions will be over Masterton, Carterton, Greytown, and Martinborough, wrapping up with a mystery location on Easter Monday. Launch sites will depend upon the wind direction and will be sighted to allow balloons to fly over the towns. Launch site details will be posted the evening prior to each days launch on our Facebook site.
Event Director Peter Amyes says the easing of outdoor gathering restrictions has returned this festival to the community where its heart lies. “I am absolutely stoked that we can now provide an up close and personal ballooning experience for all who come along to watch the launch as well as those watching from home or the many vantage points around the Wairarapa”. He said that the popular burner parade, which is planned for Thursday night in Masterton, is awaiting planning permission.
The exciting Sport Ballooning Competition will now be able to be watched in person. Each day will see different challenges posed for the balloonists seeing balloons flying from and/or to specific points. The locations will be announced on Facebook the night prior to flying however may change at short notice depending on the mornings actual weather
Destination Wairarapa marketing manager Barbara Hyde says the festival provides a great opportunity to bring people from surrounding regions, particularly Wellington and Manawatu, for is great news in the current climate.
The extended Balloons Festival programme, including the Night Glow will return in 2023. More information at www.nzballoons.co.nz
For more information contact Peter Amyes:
Friday 28 January, 2022
Much-loved Wairarapa Balloon Festival will lift the spirits this Easter.
The Wairarapa Balloon Festival will continue this Easter in a pared-back format, despite the change in COVID alert levels to Red. As one of the region’s flagship events, the festival will kick-start the school holidays, running for five days from 14-18 April, delighting residents across the whole region, and best of all, it will be completely free.
The ascensions will be over Masterton, Carterton, Greytown, and Martinborough, wrapping up with a mystery location on Easter Monday. Unfortunately, the marquee “Night Glow” event planned for Saturday 16 April has been cancelled due to the Red level restrictions, but this does not preclude people from all over Wairarapa and neighbouring regions from enjoying the spectacular display of balloons in the wide open skies.
Event Director Peter Amyes says it’s exciting to be able to provide an event that everyone can look forward to, no matter what COVID brings us. “While it is disappointing to cancel the Night Glow, we see the ascensions as an opportunity to deliver a little bit of magic and beauty to everyone, at a time when there is little to no certainty with events. This is something that people can look forward to, and we’re pretty excited about that. We encourage families to make the most of it, and have a picnic in their garden, in a nearby park, or meet with a small group of friends, and create some great memories with the glorious balloons that will fill our skies.”
Another exciting element to the festival will be the launch of inaugural Sport Ballooning Competition, the first of its kind in New Zealand. Balloonists will complete a series of challenges, and the competition will be built on in subsequent years. The Wairarapa’s big, wide-open spaces, relatively settled weather and minimal controlled air-space make it one of the best-suited and most popular regions in the country for balloonists, and organisers believe the new competition will help cement that.
Destination Wairarapa general manager Anna Nielson says the festival will be a great drawcard to attract visitors from surrounding regions, particularly Wellington and Manawatu: great news in the current climate. “The balloon festival has been absent from our events calendar since 2019 and we’ve missed it. It’s very firmly linked in people’s minds and memories to our big open skies here in the Wairarapa, so it’s especially wonderful to see it return this year, when so many other events will not be held“.
The extended Balloons Festival programme, including the Night Glow will return in 2023. Individuals who have already purchased tickets to the 2022 Night Glow have the option to transfer their ticket to 2023, obtain a refund, or donate the ticket.
More information at www.nzballoons.co.nz
For further details contact Peter Amyes: