July 15, 2012
From Ann Mort
“It was a great weekend. Just not for hot air ballooning. We received some much needed rain, temperatures were pleasant, but we couldn’t launch hot air balloons, said Maria Langendorf, chair of the MidUSA Ohio Challenge Hot Air Balloon Festival.
The three day festival saw about 6 balloons in the air during the Friday evening launch time. After that, conditions kept all 42 hot air balloons firmly grounded. No competitive tasks were completed in the event which draws many of the best regional and national hot air balloon pilots to Middletown each summer.
According to Mrs. Langendorf, “Fortunately our event is more than just hot air. Many of our guests now understand that balloons don’t fly when the winds are high and there is much more than balloon launches to a hot air balloon event.”
The other planned events went off without a hitch. Team Fastrax Skydivers dropped in throughout the weekend, Rocketry Club launches, balloon glows, Selection.com fireworks, Helicopter rides and laser light shows continued.
While no firm numbers are available, event organizers estimate crowds were down about 25% from prior years. Those who came and stayed throughout the evenings expressed surprise and joy at the quality of the event and the new elements added each year.
This is only the second time in the 10 year history that no Ohio Challenge Champion was crowned. The very first year, there were not enough competitive tasks completed to declare a winner. So in 10 years, there are eight Ohio Challenge Championship trophies on balloonists’ mantles.
The 2013 Challenge dates will be announced soon so that spectators and balloonists can plan for the 11th Ohio Challenge in Middletown, Ohio.
For full information: email@example.com, www.midusaohiochallenge.com, or 513-705-1770.