A strong contingent of CBA members attended the 2017 Freedom Balloon Fest in Fuquay Varina Memorial Day Weekend. This event not only is held over Memorial Day, but especially pays tribute to those who have lost their lives in battle. Friday night pilots flew
members of their families, known as Gold Star Families. Each family has a story about their loved one who sacrificed their life while serving our country. Pilots and crew appreciated those who shared their stories with us. It reminded us to remember them and never forget the many who died for our country.
The town of Fuquay Varina has embraced the festival, with close neighbors turning their yards into parking lots and area restaurants and merchants greeting visitors with great hospitality. Most pilots found the neighbors who greeted them in the neighborhoods upon landing to be welcoming and supportive.
The Carolinas Balloon Association sponsored a meet and greet with the public on Sunday afternoon. This has become a popular attraction at festivals, giving people attending the festival the chance to ask pilots and crew questions about balloons and ballooning, take pictures, and get an up-close-and-personal look at the baskets and burners.
Congratulations to Drew Egerton, who took overall competition honors in a close race with the number two finisher Phil MacNutt. Phil also tossed a ring around the pole, winning another $1,000 during his birthday weekend. Jim Cusick, Marc Klinger, and John Good rounded out the top five competition winners.
Many thanks to the pilots and crews who participated, the event organizers and staff, and the people of the Fuquay-Varina area.
And those who bought a Gold Star t-shirt…..have you found Brian Hoyle’s moniker in the design on back? I understand it is in there. Great design work, Brian!