Michigan Challenge Balloon Fest

UTR-Webmaster Episode 613

(Howell High School Complex) 1200 W. Grand River Ave. Howell MI, 48843

I got a question for you … what’s full of hot air and high on the great state of Michigan? That’s right … The Michigan Challenge Balloonfest right here in Howell. Oh, and uh … if you guessed me … don’t worry … you’re still right.

If you’re looking for an up, up and a way cool event the entire family’ll love, The Michigan Challenge Balloonfest gets high marks … literally. It happens every June in Howell … attracts over 100,000 bona fide balloon lovers … and is probably the most colorful collection of anything you’ll ever see.

Before the balloons began their awesome accent … I spent some time with Michelle Token … She’s the director of Balloonfest and has the perfect attitude for an event with this much altitude.

Well when you amass this many massive balloons … your bound to find a party of people who cant wait … for the big inflate …

After meeting as many balloon buffs as I could … suddenly … it was time. The weather conditions were just right for flight. So, after the pilots assemble for a pre float photo … I met with my balloonist for some instructions. And then the infield became a surreal sight of these majestic monsters coming to life. It was so astoundingly cool to be in the middle of the launch field, surrounded by these gentle giants as they took shape and readied for flight.

So, we got the go-ahead, hopped in the basket, took a deep breath and suddenly we were airborne and headed for the heavens. This truly is the moment you realize you’re doing something very special.

Once we got sufficiently high … so to speak … My capable and accomplished captain Rick Kerber and I got comfortable … and commenced conversing.

Well, now it was time to come down and look for a place to land. And we along with about a dozen other balloons landed in a field behind someone’s house … Hu boy. But the reaction wasn’t quite what I was expecting. Before I knew it we were all safely on the ground toasting with champagne and making tons of new friends. This was an awesome way to end an absolutely incredible experience. A new adventure and some great new friends … as for the champagne … I’ve had that before … cheers !!!

Oh, and if you do make it to Balloonfest … another very cool thing they do happens on Saturday night. At dusk, all the pilots inflate their flying machines and preform what they call the evening glow … and it’s quite a sight to see. Dozens and dozens of balloons lighting up the night sky in a fiery collage of colors … this is something the kids absolutely love … almost as much as we adults.

So if you’re looking for a festival the entire family will be fond of … come watch these fantastic balloons fly into the sky at the Michigan Challenge Balloonfest. It’s a great big cool and colorful reminder, why we love where we live. Hey … I think can see my house !!!

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