Photo Courtesy of The Chaparral. Hot air balloons at the festival, Nov. 23, 2019.
BY MELISSA ESPINOZA
Cathedral City held its 6th Annual Hot Air Balloon Fest Balloon Glow Lounge and Truck Fiesta from Nov. 22 to 24. Fantasy Balloon Flights presented the event.
The festival was held on Cathedral City’s Town Square Park on Ave. Lalo Guerrero and sponsored by Westin Mission Hills Golf Resort and Spa. Fantasy Balloon Flights brought 30 hot air balloons to the festival for locals to enjoy.
Some attendees were able to ride a hot air balloon by purchasing tickets online.
This year, for the first time, the festival transformed the Town Square Park into the Healthy Life Fest, to promote a healthy and balanced lifestyle. Here vendors provider plant-based foods, games, yoga and other forms of entertainment and art.
Locals who attended walked through numerous booths where they could find information about health and buy art pieces or clothes.
Also, at the festival, there was a concert with live performances by the Ron King Big Band and vocalist Barbara Morries. Attendees were also able to enjoy many foods at the Food Truck Fiesta, where eight food trucks provided Mexican food, lobster dishes, poke bowls and other foods for people to enjoy.
But not only were Coachella Valley locals able to enjoy this event, people from other areas too. Staci Skinner-Hoxsie, who does social media work for a company named Homie lives in Ridgecrest, Calif., she was here for the festival for the second time. ”My husband and I came to this hot air balloon event because we came last year for the first time, and we wanted to come again. We crew at a lot of balloon festivals on the west coast, and since a pilot we have crewed for a bit was coming again, we were able to come to help her again doing tethered rides,” said Skinner-Hoxsie. The balloons and the atmosphere around the event left attendees happy. ”I liked the set up this year and how there were different places to see balloons throughout the event. It seemed well attended and that everyone was having a great time,” said Skinner-Hoxsie.
Unfortunately, the event did start with problems; on Friday night, a man reportedly started a fire on East Palm Canyon Drive in the Denny’s parking lot, destroying a penguin-shaped hot air balloon and pickup truck.
As reported by the Cathedral City Police Department, the suspect Keenon Hiler, 30, was placed on the scene by witnesses and was arrested by police. No injuries were reported.
In the last two days of the event, people enjoyed food, music, art and the different hot air balloons.
For information on the hot air balloon festival visit, www.fantasyballoonflight.com.