Shelbyville Daily Union

Local News

October 14, 2013

Winds stop Friday balloon flights, but not excitement

SHELBYVILLE, IL. — “Always remember, eagles may soar, but weasels don’t get sucked into jet engines.”

That’s just one quote from a pilot from this year’s balloon event at Lake Shelbyville.

Shelby Electric Cooperative and several other sponsors teamed up to bring in the Touchstone Energy Hot Air balloon team to host the fourth annual balloon fest this Columbus Day weekend.

The balloon fest was consolidated with the Shelbyville Scarecrow Daze to provide entertainment and activities for families of Shelbyville and surrounding areas.

This year there were 11 total pilots who took flight in the skies around Shelbyville. There were eight pilots in 2012.

Events for the weekend included a Media Flight on Friday, sponsor flight at sunrise Saturday morning, balloon glow and cookout Saturday night, and the final sponsor flight Sunday morning at sunrise.

The balloons featured in the festival were also scheduled to do different competitions between the pilots.

The Media flight was set for Friday evening, but due to the wind, the balloons never took flight.

Event coordinator Kevin Bernson said that flights usually take place if winds are 10 mph or less, any more than that result in delayed take off or just cancelation.

“It’s not uncommon this happens. You almost would rather it be cloudy and rainy,” Bernson said.

Even though the weather ruined the main entertainment, families were still welcome to check out the baskets and talk to the pilots about their experiences flying their balloons.

Part-time farmer Mike Fahrendorf, from Ellisville, Mo., has more than 10 years of experience flying balloons and was more than willing to talk about his experiences.

Fahrendorf has been involved in ballooning since 1991 and has been a pilot since 1998. He said he mainly goes to events in Centralia, Lincoln, and obviously Shelbyville.

“I was interested in aviation when I was young and wanted to be a pilot,” Fahredorf said about how he became interested in ballooning.

“Skyhighballoon” is the name of his current balloon that he flies which he bought back in 2011. His first balloon was named “Softness of Spirit”.

Fahrendorf is part of the Balloon Club Bagi which is an association used to connect balloon pilots and crews together to improve the sport of hot air ballooning. The club originated out of Champaign-Urbana, Ill.

The owners of the balloons do not get paid to come to balloon events, but they do have incentives. All the pilots receive free hotel, free food at the events, and the transporting the balloon equipment to the event is paid for as well.

Pilots worldwide do this mainly as a hobby, but there are pilots who take ballooning much more seriously. Larry and Sheelagh Owen, winners of last year’s balloon fest competition, are evidence to that.

Sheelagh Owen said they have participated in the balloon event in Shelbyville five times, but it does not compare to the Albuquerque Fiesta.

The Albuquerque Fiesta is going into its 42nd year and is said to be the premier international ballooning event. Each year balloon teams worldwide participate in the event and attracts media coverage from more than 50 countries.

Owen said that they finished 18th out of around 700 balloons back in 2004 and it was one of the best experiences they have ever had.

“It’s so pretty. It’s just two hours of non-stop balloons,” Owen said.

It may not be Albuquerque, but due to the attendance shown at the events, the balloon pilots enjoy coming to Shelbyville every year.

1
Text Only
Local News
  • Publisher to honor historic farms SIKESTON, Mo. -- The publisher of an upcoming book honoring historic family-owned farms in Illinois says initial response to their publicity campaign has been overwhelming, despite the fact that a large number of farm owners still haven't heard about

    April 22, 2014

  • 042214 4-H cards for soldiers pic 4-H Federation makes cards for soldiers Shelby County 4-H Federation members met on April 14 with Pat Titus and made cards for the Troops. Pat Titus is from Arcola and goes and meets with groups to make cards. She brings all the materials to make cards and asks for a small donation to hel

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • School board chooses energy contractor for High School The Shelbyville school board took the first step to replace the heating system in the High School building during the regular school board meeting Thursday evening. After hearing recommendations from the facilities committee, the board approved GRP,

    April 22, 2014

  • 041814 Rams on the Run pic Students complete Read, Right, & Run Marathon A group of Shelbyville students, ages Kindergarten through 6th grade, participated in the GO! St. Louis Read, Right, & Run Marathon on April 5. The event was held at Forest Park, St. Louis. Coordinators were Lisa Mayhall and Stacy Lindemann. The GO!

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Audit report: County's finances 'level' The county's finances are "level", according to Robin Yockey of Mose, Yockey, Brown and Kull LLC. Yockey presented the audited financial report to the County Board during last week's regular meeting. "The county's finances remained relatively level b

    April 18, 2014

  • 041814 Moulton concert pic Moulton Jr. High presents spring concert Moulton Middle School 6th, 7th, and 8th grade choruses presented its Spring Concert Tuesday evening in the High School auditorium. The 6th and 7th grade choirs combined to present "Bye Bye, Love", "Read All About It", "Just a Bit of Sunshine", "Play

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • IMG_2246.JPG SHS Prom Royalty Candidates named

    Shelbyville High School has announced its 2014 Prom court.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Sgt. Timothy Owens laid to rest Saturday Jackson Adams Effingham Daily News Sgt. Timothy Owens laid to rest Saturday

    April 15, 2014

  • 041514 veterans honored pic Father, son veterans honored with headstones Military headstones were placed near the graves of a Blackhawk War veteran and his Civil War veteran son Friday thanks to the efforts of a Shelbyville man. The stones were placed near the Graham family plot at the corner of Veterans and Highland Aven

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • Shelby County Art Show Results 2014 Welcoming weather helped this year's Shelby County Art Show to be quite busy with many visitors to the Lake Shelbyville Visitor Center. This SCAS had a large number of entries in both junior and adult divisions, as well as many demonstrators showing

    April 15, 2014

Featured Ads
AP Video
Poll

Do you think the United States should become more involved in the advancements of Russia into the Ukraine?

Yes, militarily
Yes, as peacemakers
No
     View Results
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Helium debate
Helium