The annual balloon festival is back in High River this week and the Town is using the event to announce something permanent for the balloon community.

Town Councillor and Event Organizer, Jamie Kinghorn, says the Town will set up a permanent "balloon port" on the Town's north end.

"So, it'll be a designated area for pilots from anywhere that come into our area and want to fly, you need landowner permission, you need a good place to launch from so that'll be our designated launch port. First ever in Canada. Never been done in Canada before and we're really excited about it and we're going to see how it goes."

They'll use land just north of the Lineham Canal Bridge in a designated flood mitigation zone.

Kinghorn, who's also a balloon pilot, says no work is required and no money is being spent.

"That's one of the reasons Council approved it, is there'll be no infrastructure in place over there whatsoever. We may put up a sign that says "High River's Hot Air Balloon Launch Port" that kind of thing. But absolutely no infrastructure. We'll be mowing it twice a year just to keep the grass down, that kind of thing, just to keep the grass down a bit."

Kinghorn says they won't be using the spot to launch from this week though.

Instead they'll launch from their usual spot just off Macleod Trail and Highwood Trail in the Town's southwest end.


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