GRANTS PASS, Ore. -- After a 10 year hiatus, the Grants Pass Balloon and Kite Festival is still going strong in its second year. Organizers said thousands came out to see the giant balloons and kits lift into the air and for a good cause.
"Our three non-profits are Safe Families for Children, Every Child and CASA. So when you're here and spending money on the kids activities or the food vendors, or taking a paid balloon ride, all of that supports those three beneficiaries," said the festival’s founder and Rotary Club Chairman, Caleb LaPlante.
LaPlante adds navigating balloons and kites are tricky. Kites like the wind but balloons don't. This year, Mother Nature was more than accommodating. Not one event scheduled across the three day festival was cancelled because of unfavorable conditions. So everyone got to enjoy all of the magic.
"Balloons, especially but almost the large kites, they're inspiring. They’re kind of magical. It’s that Wizard of Oz feeling where Dorothy flies away back to Kansas. You feel kind of captured that there is a special kind of magic in the world. Balloons are all about that," LaPlante added.