Inaugural Balloon Festival Takes Flight

Inaugural Balloon Festival Takes Flight

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CEDAR CITY (AP) -- Cedar City's Bicentennial Park this week becomes the latest stop on the circuit of hot air balloon festivals.

Nineteen colorful eight-story balloons will take flight from there Friday, launching the inaugural three-day Skyfest.

Founder Mary Payne says the event is not just for balloonists, but a sky festival for anything that takes flight, including kites, model rockets and radio controlled planes.

Payne and her husband got the idea for the festival after attending the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta. There they met renowned balloonist Charles Sundquist, who came out of retirement to help organize the Cedar City event.

Sundquist recruited nineteen balloonists from around the world for Skyfest.

(Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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