Houston, TX –May 8, 2006 - Houston’s most exciting and entertaining outdoor summer family event blasts off from the NASA/Johnson Space Center this August 25-27, as the RE/MAX Ballunar Liftoff Festival fills the skies above Clear Lake for the 14th annual tribute to mankind’s fascination with flight.
Presented by Schepps Dairy, the weekend celebration features approximately 100 giant hot air balloons piloted by the world’s most skilled aerial navigators, punctuated by daylong skydiving exhibitions, para-gliders & hang-gliders, all set in a carnival atmosphere with food, crafts, a Midway with rides, and ongoing live musical entertainment.
“Aside from the most entertaining, this is the summer’s most affordable family entertainment,” said Steve Lombardi, the festival’s co-founder and director of airflight operations. “For $10 per vehicle, and with free onsite parking at Space Center Houston, why not load up the neighbors kids and come to an outing that’s both educational and fun? There’s a NASA mini-tour included on Saturday, giving a close-up look at the space station mock-ups and astronaut training facilities, with real NASA Astronauts signing autographs!”
A Houston tradition produced by hundreds of volunteers, the non-profit RE/MAX Ballunar Liftoff Festival sprouted wings in 1992 to commemorate the 200th anniversary of manned flight in America, and has grown into a hallmark end-of-summer event that encourages young people’s interest in math and science through the study of aeronautics.
“Following Friday’s Welcome Ascension at 6:30, there’s a mass balloon glow at 8pm,” said Lombardi. “The 7:00 am Shuttle Rendezvous (balloon navigational competition) kicks off Saturday morning, followed by skydivers and airsport activities all day long. Visitors can check the website (www.ballunarfestival.com) for a complete schedule of activities and directions.”
In addition to the sport/competitive balloons, Ballunar features several “special shape” balloons to amaze children of all ages, led by Airabelle the Cow, from Schepps Dairy, and the H.E.B. Scarecrow. A variety of corporate event partnership opportunities are still available.
“From the earliest form of flight, to the technological marvels of modern aviation and space travel, this festival has it all,” Lombardi concluded. “Get the kids and your camera, and join us for the most exciting way to end the summer.”
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