Penang to host first hot air balloon fiesta next month

Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng said the hot air balloon fiesta is part of the ‘Fabulous February Fiesta’ for Penang as well as to kick off the ‘Year of Festivals’ in conjunction with Visit Penang 2015. — File pic
Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng said the hot air balloon fiesta is part of the ‘Fabulous February Fiesta’ for Penang as well as to kick off the ‘Year of Festivals’ in conjunction with Visit Penang 2015. — File pic

GEORGE TOWN, Jan 26 — A total of 15 hot air balloons will take to the skies in Penang in a two-day festival next month, the first time such a lofty event will be held in the state.

The RM650,000 festival, to be held on February 21 and 22, will be open to the public from 6am to 9pm at the Padang Polo grounds.

There will also be tethered balloon rides for the public at RM25 per person during the two-day festival.

When announcing the event today, Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng said it is part of the “Fabulous February Fiesta” for Penang as well as to kick off the “Year of Festivals” in conjunction with Visit Penang 2015.

Visitors will be able to watch free-flying balloon shows featuring special balloons such as Trump, Darth Vader and Humpty Dumpty during the festival.

This is the first hot air balloon festival in Penang but not the first hot air balloon event in the state; in 1995, balloon featured in the celebration of News Straits Times’ 150 years anniversary.

Lim said the festival will mark the beginning more interesting events for the year to boost tourism in the state.

Apart from the balloons, the festival will also feature other activities such as inflatable playgrounds, creative workshops, archery, photography competition, paraglider performances, remote planes and helicopters demonstrations, and a fun run.

Shuttle buses will also be provided from three different points on the island — jetty, Tanjung Tokong and Queensbay Mall — to Padang Polo.

The Penang Hot Air Balloon Fiesta is supported by the Penang state government in cooperation with the Penang Island Municipal Council and the Penang Global Tourism in collaboration with Tourism Malaysia.

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