The High River Hot Air Balloon Launch Port, the first one in Canada is up and running north of the Lineham Canal.

The first flights since it was official took place on the weekend.

Organizer Jamie Kinghorn says this is one more thing that will put High River on the map in a positive way.

"A few years ago I was in the U.S. and some friends of mine took me to a balloon launch port that is located just outside of Denver, " said Kinghorn. "And they showed be around and how it worked and what the rules were and all those sorts of things and how good it has been for ballooning in that area."

He adds the first thing that came to mind was why don't we have one of those in High River.

Kinghorn approached the town about the property north of the Lineham Canal after the flood buy outs as the perfect place for the project.

So he took the project to Town Council this past September.

Kinghorn made some enquires and he went to Council and made a presentation to council and went outside of Chambers as they debated it and when he went back in he had their approval.

The first balloons, now that the site is designated were launched on the weekend.

"I am super excited about it, so are the balloonists, they are absolutely in love with the idea. Each one of the organizations both the federal, provincial and Calgary groups have committed to putting up five hundred dollars each."

The money will cover costs like mowing the grass, putting up a sign and stuff like that.

He is hoping that balloonists will be up in the air a couple of times a month.

Kinghorn is hoping a special event planned planned for January 1st will be able to go ahead, depending on the weather.

The Calgary Balloon Park is hoping to launch 10 balloons for New Years day.

"They normally do a New Years Day flight from Chestermere or Langdon, but because of the port they have decided to come to High River this year. It will be just a great time in High River on New Years Day, if the weather holds up."

He says with the port being the first of its kind in Canada and it is pretty special it is in High River.

Kinghorn adds there are no costs to running the port as it will all be done by the clubs and the balloonists themselves.

 

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