Waikato skies will be filled with colour and the magic of ballooning as hot air balloons from around New Zealand float across the city when the much- loved Balloons over Waikato returns from Tuesday 16th – Saturday 20th March.
A full week of ballooning action is planned, with competitive flying tasks each morning from Innes Common at Hamilton Lake, commencing on opening morning with the Hamilton City Council Opening Fiesta. The week continues with the WEL Energy Trust Muffin in the Morning, The Grassroots Trust Lift Off and The First Credit Union Fun Friday. On Friday night the Base Basket Burn fires up in the Te Awa carpark and the Balloons will also visit Albert Park in Te Awamutu. During the week visit the CBD Events Walk Thru Balloon in Garden Place each day and the Pilot Cash Grab Spectacular is a high point on Saturday morning. This iconic event finishes up with the stunning ZURU Nightglow on Saturday night.
A highlight for young and old is the chance to walk through and get inside a real hot air balloon for a gold coin donation! Run by our charity partner Waikato Sunrise Rotary, you will find the Walk Thru Balloon each morning at Innes Common, at Garden Place in the CBD each afternoon and in Te Awamutu when the Balloons visit Waipa. New for this year, is the Resene Colourful Candy Floss Fun Tether balloon which will inflate at Innes Common each morning. Children can have a ‘short lift’ for a gold coin donation with all money raised going to KidsCan.
This festival is known for its stunning Special Shaped Hot Air Balloons. Event manager Michele Connell acknowledges that this year will be a little different, but nevertheless is thrilled to still be able to deliver Waikato’s favourite event to the community.
“What most people do not realise is that the huge wonderfully shaped balloons do not live in NZ, they come in from all around the world like the USA, UK & Europe, which this year is difficult to achieve. However, we are proud to have a strong contingent of NZ owned balloons, which are all beautifully coloured, that will ensure the magic of this event can carry on this year. We are Keeping it Kiwi, with our event theme, balloons, pilots and even our music at the ZURU Nightglow!”
Hamilton’s biggest night out is The ZURU Nightglow on the grounds of the University of Waikato on Saturday from 4pm. You will enjoy 5 hours of live entertainment on the main stage along with amusement rides, carnival games, and a huge range of food options. Bring the entire family to enjoy a night like no other with the stunningly orchestrated hot air balloon glow, to the soundtrack of the best kiwi tunes, culminating in the finale of the spectacular Waitomo Groups Fireworks Extravaganza. A night not to be missed.
Visit www.balloonsoverwaikato.co.nz for more information and like us on Facebook for the most up to date daily flying information.