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September 2012 Sequim Balloon Festival 1


SEQUIMFESTIVAL Sept. 1, 2 and 3, 2012 All day and evening events at Grant Farm field Morning balloon flights from Sequim Valley Airport

Balloon flights, classic car show, arts and crafts, 29 hours of music, street dances, beer and wine garden, food court, kids’ activities and more

A publication of the Peninsula Daily News


Sequim Balloon Festival September 2012

Sequim Balloon Festival

SEPT. 1, 2 AND 3, 2012

From the early morning balloon flights to end of the day Night Glow events, the Sequim Balloon Festival, held Labor Day weekend, offers activities for all ages throughout each day. One of the highlights of this year’s festival is the Little Bee balloon team that is anything but little. Two five-story character balloons, named Joey and Lilly, are shaped like honey bees who take off holding hands. During the Sequim Balloon Festival the Little Bees are joined by a Baby Bee balloon, Joelly. Events take place at two venues; the main festival grounds are on Fred and Loretta Grant’s field at 792 W. Sequim Bay Road, adjacent to Purple Haze Lavender Farm, across the street from Holiday Inn Express and, for the morning balloon launches only, a special field at the Sequim Valley Airport, 468 Dorothy Hunt Lane, Carlsborg. At least a dozen hot air balloons will launch, weather permitting, at about 6 a.m. from the venue at Sequim “NOT YOUR ORDINARY MARKET� Valley Airport on Saturday, Sunday and Monday. Their flight path is expected to be eastbound toward the festival site. At sundown on Saturday and Sunday, an evening balloon Night Glow takes place on the Grant Farm field festival site. This dramatic balloon tradition is highlighted by a reflection pond to delight every photographer. Don’t sleep in on Monday or you will miss the Hare and Hound balloon race starting about 6 a.m. at Sequim Valley Airport where ALK IN Hound balloons fly to “catch� the Hare balloon. In addition to the balloon activities, the festival and all of your Tobacco needs at competitive prices features a classic-car show, “Hot Gas & Gears,� that will showcase cars during 28661801

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the balloon Night Glow event; live music from 17 groups performing for 29 hours; arts and crafts booths; daily street dances; a food court; a beer and wine garden; a children’s play area, and a 5K, 10K and 21K Volksmarch walk, Saturday, on the Olympic Discovery Trail. Festival grounds are open from 10 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, and 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Monday. The mass ascension of hot air balloons takes place at the airport site at 6 a.m. each morning. Festival tickets are available on the Grant Farm field festival grounds from Aug. 31 to Sept. 3, online at or at the following locations: In Sequim: BrokersGroup Real Estate Professionals, 219 W. Washington St.; Castell Insurance, 426 E. Washington St.; Dairy Queen, 720 W. Washington St.; Dungeness Bay Wine and Cheese, 123 E. Washington St.; First Federal, 333 N. Sequim Ave. and 1201 W. Washington St.; Islander Pizza & Pasta Shack, 380 E. Washington St.; 101 Outpost Chevron gas station, 822 E. Washington St.; Pacific Mist Books, 121 W. Washington St.; Sequim-Dungeness Valley Chamber of Commerce, 1192 E. Washington St.; and Wind Rose Cellars, 155 W. Cedar St. B. In Port Angeles: First Federal, 141 W. First St. and 1603 E. First St. and 227 E. Sixth St; and Port Book & News, 104 E. First St. In Port Townsend: First Federal, 1312 Sims Way; and Jefferson County Chamber of Commerce, 440 12th St. In Forks: First Federal, 131 Calawah Way. A pre-festival concert with Rare Earth, a multiple platinum albums, classic rock band, and a special guest to be announced open the festival at 7 p.m. Friday, Aug 31, on the main stage at the Grant Farm site. Tickets to the Rare Earth concert are separate and available through or through

September 2012 Sequim Balloon Festival 3

SEQUIM BALLOON FESTIVAL Special section published by Peninsula Daily News Main Office: 305 W. First St., Port Angeles, WA 98362 360-452-2345 John C. Brewer, publisher and editor Steve Perry, advertising director Jennifer Veneklasen, special sections editor photography by: Randall Tomaras content: Paul Muncey and Susan Hedding Part of the Little Bee balloon team — two five-story character balloons named Joey and Lilly — will be at the Sequim Balloon Festival along with Baby Bee balloon, Joelly.

All about hot air balloons: X They fly really early because winds are usually light and it is typically the coolest part of the day. X They are made of colorful reinforced nylon fabric, called an envelope; the pilot and passengers ride in a wicker basket, called a gondola, which is strong and flexible. X They are really big, most are about the size of a 7-story building. X The envelope traps a large volume of hot air. When the air is heated, the balloon rises. When it cools or the pilot lets air out of the envelope top, the balloon descends.

X Burners make noise when the pilot turns them on from time to time during a flight. The burners do not burn constantly. X They travel with the wind, so you don’t feel wind in your face during a ride. X They are not actually steered, but pilots use the wind direction and balloon altitude to determine the direction and likely landing spot. X They are aircraft regulated by the Federal Aviation Administration; pilots must be licensed by the FAA. X They only travel in one direction. After a flight, they do not return to where they were launched. When you are a passenger, the balloon chase crew that has followed the balloon during flight will be your ride back to the takeoff location.


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X The heat is created by liquid propane gas (LPG) carried in the balloon basket in stainless steel tanks. The tanks feed burners attached to the top of the basket, right below the envelope. The burners send flames into the envelope to heat the air.

Fresh Sheet Friday & Saturday Night


Sequim Balloon Festival September 2012

City welcomes newest festival Letter from Sequim Mayor Ken Hays The City of Sequim and the Sequim-Dungeness Valley community are very excited to be a part of the first Sequim Balloon Festival, which will take place over Labor Day Weekend 2012. The producers of the Sequim Balloon Festival bring the same entrepreneurial spirit to the community that has long been a tradition in the SequimDungeness Valley. It was the same sense of foresight and adventure that inspired the Sequim pioneers to build the irrigation ditches almost 120 years ago. Those ditches turned an arid valley into a lush agricultural community that has evolved from dairy farms to organic produce and the agro-tourism-based crop of lavender. We just celebrated our 117th Irrigation Festival, the longest continuous running festival in the state of Washington, and the 16th Sequim Lavender Weekend, which includes the Sequim Lavender Festival and the Sequim Lavender Farm Faire. It seems fitting that the Sequim Balloon Festival will be held on a field used for farming, made possible by those same irrigation ditches and near one of the first lavender farms planted in Sequim. In October of 2012, the City of Sequim will begin its yearlong Centennial Celebration marking the 100th anniversary of the city’s incorporation. As we look at the city’s past and reminisce about the way things were, we are inspired to dream about the way things will be. New people, new events and activities and new opportunities are the future we dream for Sequim. We welcome the new Sequim Balloon Festival to our long tradition of community celebrations and demonstrations of the pioneering spirit and invention.


How in the world does that huge balloon get here and where does it go when it lands? The answer to both questions is a balloon crew. Balloonists at the Sequim Balloon Festival may arrive with their own crew, but many will rely on volunteers from our area to help with each flight. If you are interested in volunteering for a balloon crew, contact Dean Norman at 360-460-0687 or No experience is necessary. Hot air balloons have three parts: the envelope, the colorful part that can be as tall as a ten-story building or even larger to hold the hot air; the basket, where the pilot and passengers stand; and the burners, which use propane from tanks in the basket to create controlled flames which heat the air in the envelope. The balloon is transported to the launch site in a van or trailer. Crew members carefully unload the balloon under the direction of the pilot. The first step is to carefully unroll all that envelope fabric on the ground.

— Ken Hays, Mayor of Sequim

continued on Page 11 >

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September 2012 Sequim Balloon Festival 5

Get in on hot air balloon events


The festival will have a reflection pond the size of a football field lined with hot air balloons for the Night Glow events.

Balloons fly really early


You have to get up early to see hot air balloons fly, but when the sky over Sequim is full of big balloons — including three that look like five-story honey bees — it makes up for the early hour. The Sequim Balloon Festival will begin each day, weather permitting, with the launch of a dozen or so of these gentle giants from the Sequim Valley Airport at 6 a.m. Passengers on those flights will return to the festival site for a traditional balloon flight celebration after each flight. If you want to ride in a balloon, organizers are ready to make that happen. Many riders have already paid for their flights and added their names to the flight list. It is not too late for you to do the same. Sign up at or come to our booth at the festival. If you are at the 6 a.m. balloon flights each morning and you have the price of a ticket, $250, you just may get the chance to fly in place of the one or two passengers who slept in and missed their flight. It happens. If wind conditions are good in the afternoons during festival weekend, flights could be added. There will be flights before and after the festival with those balloonists who will be arriving early or remaining after the festival weekend. Information is

May the wind welcome you with softness. May the sun bless you with its warm hands. May you fly so high and so well, God joins you in your laughter. And may he set you gently back again, Into the loving arms of Earth.


available at

Twilight Balloon Night Glow What do you see at sunset when you have several fully inflated balloons standing in a row on a field? You see Twilight in the Olympics hot air balloon Night Glow. This photographer’s dream is an exciting opportunity to see the beauty of hot air balloons while they stay in one place. And there’s more. The festival created a large Reflection Pond, sponsored by the Sequim Sunrise Rotary and Home Depot, to double the drama. You can enjoy the street dances, live music, food court and the wine and beer garden while you watch preparations for the Night Glow. If wind conditions do not allow the balloons to fully inflate, the balloon baskets will remain in place and pilots will ignite the burner flames to create what is known as Candles in the Park. Night Glow events will be Saturday and Sunday at 8:30 p.m., depending on the current wind conditions.

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Sequim Balloon Festival September 2012

Festival schedule

Each daily festival ticket is all-inclusive. You can enjoy every event with no additional charge. Events and times subject to change.

Saturday, Sept.1 • • • • • • • • • •

Balloon Trekkers— Balloon rides 6 a.m. at Sequim Valley Airport Balloon Walk — 5K, 10K or 21K Volksmarch starts between 8 a.m. and 10 a.m. at John Wayne Marina Kids Corral 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. “Hot Gas & Gears” Car Show 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Ballooning Up — Food court 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Artists of Elegance — Arts and crafts booths 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Music in the Air — Music festival 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. The Social Medium — Wine and beer garden 10 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. Moving in the Air — Street field dance 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Twilight in the Olympics — Balloon Night Glow begins 8:30 p.m. or later depending on current wind conditions

Sunday, Sept. 2 • • • • • • • • •

Balloon Trekkers — Balloon rides 6 a.m. at Sequim Valley Airport Kids Corral 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. “Hot Gas & Gears” — Car Show 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Ballooning Up — Food court 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Artists of Elegance — Arts and crafts booths 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Music in the Air — Music festival 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. The Social Medium Wine and Beer Garden 10 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. Moving in the Air – Street dance 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Twilight in the Olympics — Balloon Night Glow begins 8:30 p.m. or later depending on current wind conditions

Balloon pilots have better m X outside temperatures are cool, whi

Monday, Sept. 3 • • • • • • •

Hare and Hound — Balloon race 6 a.m. at Sequim Valley Airport Kids Corral 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Ballooning Up — Food court 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Artists of Elegance — Arts and crafts booths 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Music in the Air — Music festival 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. The Social Medium Wine and beer garden 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Moving in the Air — Street dance 1:30 to 3:30 p.m.

See page 10 for pre-event concert information, to be held Friday, Aug. 31.

in the early morning before the su and sometimes in the evening wh want to see balloons fly — you nee Bubble Man will keep the kids entertained at the main festival grounds on Saturday afternoon.

So much to sample in one short weekend Elegant artists

The arts and crafts show at the Sequim Balloon Festival will showcase original art from local artists along with a variety of crafts with local interests. Saturday and Sunday 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Monday 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Entertainment and activities for the kids

Whether it is clowns who entertain or activities that energize, kids will be busy at the Sequim Balloon Festival. On stage: find clowns; balloon artists; and everyone’s favorite, the

Bubble Man. Action activities: pony rides; sock hop inside a balloon complete with pictures; and more. Saturday and Sunday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

There will be dancing Any shoes are dancing shoes at the Sequim Balloon Festival on Saturday and Sunday evenings as well as Monday afternoon. You can dance along to your favorite groups while the balloons prepare for the nighttime Balloon Glow event. Whether your taste is for pop-jazz standards, R&B, mambo, rumba and

more, Half Pack Live will move your feet on Saturday evening. On Sunday evening, you will dance to the Hit Men where Lenny Epps will make you part of the show as you enjoy hits from the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s that make you get up and dance and dance. To close the festival on Monday, you will dance to the MLR (Mildly Loud Rock) Band. Saturday and Sunday 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., Monday 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Be social Come to “The Social Medium” at the Sequim Balloon Festival to enjoy

our wine and beer garden. It will be a great place to sit and relax and enjoy festival sights and sounds. The Social Medium will be licensed by the Sequim Valley Lions Club and co-hosted with Olympic Peninsula Wineries. No one younger than 21 will be allowed inside. Saturday and Sunday 10 a.m. to 10:30 p.m., Monday 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Getting hungry yet? Enjoy Sequim’s always outstanding food vendors in a comfortable food court that surrounds our small stage. Saturday and Sunday 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., Monday 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

September 2012 Sequim Balloon Festival 7

Ticket information

maneuverability when ich is why balloons fly un heats up the earth en it cools. So if you ed to get up at sunrise.

Tickets to the Sequim Balloon Festival are available as three-day passes for $29 or as a single-day pass for $19. Your festival ticket is a pass to enjoy every event on the day of your pass. This includes balloon activities morning and evening, the music festival with 17 groups performing during the entire event, the classic car show, arts and crafts booths, food booths, street dances each day of the festival, the beer and wine garden, the kids’ play area with a visit from the Bubble Man and the Volksmarch non-competitive walk along the Olympic Discovery Trail. Tickets are available from Aug. 31 to Sept. 3 at the festival grounds on Grant Farm field, 792 W. Sequim Bay Road. You can buy tickets online at or through the link at the festival website or locally at one of the following locations. In Sequim: BrokersGroup Real Estate Professionals, 219 W. Washington St.; Castell Insurance, 426 E. Washington St.; Dairy Queen, 720 W. Washington St.; Dungeness Bay Wine and Cheese, 123 E. Washington St.; First Federal, 333 N. Sequim Ave. and 1201 W. Washington St.; Islander Pizza & Pasta Shack, 380 E. Washington St.; 101 Outpost Chevron gas station, 822 E. Washington St.; Pacific Mist Books, 121 W. Washington St.; Sequim-Dungeness Valley Chamber of Commerce, 1192 E. Washington St.; and Wind Rose Cellars, 155 W. Cedar St. B. In Port Angeles: First Federal, 141 W. First St. and 1603 E. First St. and 227 E. Sixth St; and Port Book & News, 104 E. First St. In Port Townsend: First Federal, 1312 Sims Way; and Jefferson County Chamber of Commerce, 440 12th St. In Forks: First Federal, 131 Calawah Way.

Lace up your walking shoes Join in on Saturday at the John Wayne Marina for the Sequim Balloon Festival Volksmarch. There is no entry fee for this walk. It is included with your festival ticket. If you want to receive credit for the miles you’ve walked with the National VolksMarch Assocation, there is a $3 national charge. You can start your walk anytime from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. Pick your distance and walk 5K, 10K, or 21K on sidewalks and paved trail across Johnson Creek Trestle and along the Olympic Discovery Trail

passing many festival activities, and through Carrie Blake Park with beautiful mountain views. If you choose the 21K walk, you must start no later than 10 a.m. The walk includes geocache sites along the route. The walk is not suitable for strollers or wheelchairs, but you can bring your dog. Owners must follow leash and cleanup laws. This walk is hosted by the Olympic Peninsula Explorers Volkssport Club and sponsored by Sequim Physical Therapy Center.

The Sequim Balloon Festival has two sites: Grant Farm field, 792 W. Sequim Bay Road where most of the Labor Day Weekend events take place Sequim Valley Airport, 468 Dorothy Hunt Lane location for the early morning balloon flights

Map of the main festival grounds at Grant Farm Field


Sequim Balloon Festival September 2012

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Meet the Air Boss — safety is her job She has been described as “Peter Pan for adults,� and “as energetic as a basket of puppies.� Captain Crystal, Air Boss of the Sequim Balloon Festival, is dedicated to the safety of pilots, passengers and of all those who attend the festival. Captain Crystal, as Crystal Stout is known by everyone in the ballooning community, is a third-generation pilot who is respected for her perfect safety record. She has been flying for 27 years without incident or accident. In her role as Sequim Balloon Festival Air Boss, Captain Crystal has spent many hours becoming familiar with the Sequim area and weather to make certain that the balloonists have the best source for current and forecasted weather conditions. She is active in the American Meteorological Society and is currently working with the National Weather Service to install the North Olympic Peninsula’s first-of-its-kind weather station at Sequim Valley Airport. Frequent pilot briefings throughout the festival ensure that the Air Boss and the pilots are aware of weather conditions, landing site updates from landowners and any other factors to ensure safety for all. Captain Crystal recognizes the contributions of the many farms in this area. She is respectful of crops and livestock and works closely with the landowners to get agreement for possible landing areas in each farm. This information is contained in a comprehensive map which will be carried in every balloon. During the Hare and Hound Race on Monday

Captain Crystal conducts a preflight check.

morning, Captain Crystal will pilot the Hare balloon. Her job is to fly to a landing spot ahead of the other balloons to leave a marker on that site. The hound balloons then maneuver to that site and drop their own markers. The hound marker nearest the hare marker is the winner. Chief Pilot and CEO of Morning Star Balloon

Company, her own balloon company, Captain Crystal has organized or competed in balloon festivals across the globe. She has organized hot air balloon events in conjunction with PPG/CART Indy racing in 10 cities around the U.S., Portugal, Japan, New Zealand and Puerto Rico. Throughout her flying career, Captain Crystal has experienced nearly every aspect of aviation including piloting special shaped balloons, helicopters, planes, powered parachutes and one-person balloons. She is a third-generation balloonist — a rarity. Her grandfather was crew on the 1935 Stratospheric Balloon Launch from Rapid City, S.D., and her father is also a hot air balloon pilot. Captain Crystal shares her love of ballooning with her husband, Dr. Don Stout, a hot air balloon pilot and mobile physician. Crystal and Don are soon to be full-time residents of Sequim and plan to fly their hot air balloons in and around the Peninsula in the near future. Captain Crystal says, “We teach adults to play like children.� Follow the adventures of Captain Crystal and Morning Star Balloon Co. at Please welcome your Sequim Balloon Festival Air Boss and feel free to call her anytime at 360-601-2433.


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‘HOT GAS AND GEARS’ CAR SHOW It doesn’t get any better than dramatic balloons glowing in the dark after sunset, surrounded by 10 dream cars all mirrored in the festival Reflection Pond sponsored by the Sequim Sunrise Rotary and Home Depot. Each car is a winner of the Sequim Balloon Festival Classic Car Show competition. Cars are judged in these categories: special interest vehicles, street rods, best truck, people’s choice, stock/modified, emergency vehicles and best of 1970s, 1960s, 1950s, and 1940s or older. Ten winners will be selected each day to be part of the balloon Night Glow festivities. Prizes for this car show total more than $10,000. The cars highlighted at the balloon glow will be photo-

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graphed by a professional photographer as part of the prizes for each category. In addition, each winner will receive a second professional photo shoot at another time and place to be arranged at the convenience of the car owner. One car will be selected “Best of Show” to receive an additional prize of a hot air balloon ride. Entry fee is $20 per car. Registrations prior to Sept. 1 receive two three-day festival passes, worth $29 each. Registrations at the festival receive one three-day pass. Dashboard plaques will be provided for the first 100 registrations received. For more information, visit

Every day, all day, the Sequim Balloon Festival will have music with 17 opportunities to hear your favorite local groups performing on the festival stage. There is something for everyone’s musical taste. It’s all here: Celtic; traditional jazz; country and western; electric six-string violin; big band; Vegasstyle show band; soulful American roots combining blues, soul, country, rock and gospel; vocal jazz; and bluegrass. Instead of paying for each performance, your daily festival pass allows you to hear them all.

Saturday 11 a.m. — Haywire 11:30 a.m. — “Chicago” Hampton plays the national anthem on harmonica 1 p.m. — Chez Jazz 3 p.m. — Olympic Express 5 p.m. — Buck Ellard 7 p.m. — Half Pack LIVE plays for the Street Dance 9 p.m. — Geoffrey Castle

Sunday 11 a.m. — Bound to Happen 1 p.m. — Jenny Davis 3 p.m. — Sequim Marimba 5 p.m. — Fret Noir 7 p.m. — The Hitmen play for the Street Dance 9 p.m. — Geoffrey Castle

Monday 10 a.m. — Buck Ellard Band 11:30 p.m. — Old Sidekicks 1:30 p.m. — MLR Band plays for the street dance and the closing act

Friday evening pre-festival event What better way to kick off the Sequim Balloon Festival than to hear a legendary group perform on the festival stage. Come to the festival grounds on Friday evening, Aug. 31, to enjoy a concert by Rare Earth. Its song, “I Just Want to Celebrate,” is recognized as one of the Top 40 hits of all time on many popular record sites. In its long career, Rare Earth has earned two double platinum, one platinum and three gold albums. There will also be a rare opportunity to see and hear another special musical guest that will arrive by hot air balloon during the concert, weather permitting. The Sequim Balloon Festival grounds will open at 6 p.m. for the concert. Music starts at 7 p.m. Tickets for the Rare Earth concert are sold separately from tickets for the Sequim Balloon Festival. Sequim ticket locations: Islander Pizza & Pasta Shack; 7 Cedars Casinos; Tattoo Guy; Purple Haze Lavender Farm & Store; 101 Outpost Chevron; and Hardy’s Market. In Port Townsend: Highway 20 Roadhouse. In Port Angeles: Coogs Budget CDs. Concert tickets are $25. Order them online at www.

September 2012 Sequim Balloon Festival 11

A round of sincere appreciation

IT TAKES A VILLAGE > continued from Page 4

It takes a strong team with a shared vision to create a major event for the first time. Randall Tomaras, executive director of the Sequim Balloon Festival, is grateful to every member of the team who has been working for more than a year, and to those who will be working long hours on Labor Day weekend, to present the Sequim Balloon Festival. This event will bring economic benefit to the entire community as well as a balloon adventure to every visitor. The first to join his team was his sweetheart, Sherry Siegel, followed by Fred and Loretta Grant, who donated the use of their large farm field. Bret Wirta, owner of the Holiday Inn Express, Quality Inn and Black Bear Diner, was the next to come on board. The list of sponsors now includes: BrokersGroup Real Estate Professionals, Holiday Inn Express, Sequim Valley Airport, Sequim Physical Therapy Center, Home Depot, Sequim Sunrise Rotary, Ferrellgas,* Legacy Homes, The City of Sequim, Olympic Peninsula Visitor’s Bureau, Clallam County Parks and Recreation, Sequim Valley Lions Club, RE/MAX Fifth Avenue, John L. Scott, Black Bear Diner, The Co-Op Farm & Garden, Islander Pizza & Pasta Shack, Quality Inn, Discount Tire, Sanctuary Day Spa & Wellness Center, Mad Maggie Boutique & Salon, Oak TableKingston, A-1 Auto and Creative Framing Prints Etc. More sponsors are expected to be added to this list. Starting in 2011, Tomaras formed a committee of local citizens including Sherry Siegel, Jim Barnfather, Linda Barnfather, Barb Hanna, Fred and Loretta Grant, Troy and Becky Smith, Kathy Charlton, Mike Dashiell, Laura Dubois, Mandy and

Vic Johnson, George Wreggit, Shelli Robb Kahler, John Brewer, Doug McClary, Neil Culbertson, D. J. Bassett, Deborah Norman, Diane Schostak, David Kruth, Ellen Corey Patrie, Lynn Johnson, Allan Thornock, Jeff Tocher, Mark Hays, Dick Hughes, Bruce Lindquist, Dean Norman, Bryan White, Mary Allen Clark, John D’Urso, Steve and Darcy Lamb, Kevin Kennedy and Bret Wirta. Together they exchanged and formed ideas that launched the first-ever balloon festival for Sequim. The next step was to develop the front-line staff who would take the responsibility to make the dream their own. * Indicates gold and silver sponsors. Festival staff include: Kelly Jo Hill, assistant director; Crystal Stout, Air Boss aka Balloonmeister; Doug McClary, head of security; Andy Sallee, airport management; Neil Culbertson, music festival director; Dean Norman, volunteer crew chief; Deb Norman, real estate marketing director; David Kruth, balloon pilot housing director; George March, classic car show director; John D’Urso, Kids’ Korral; Ken Cram and David Blakeslee, Beer & Wine Garden directors; Paul Muncey and Susan Hedding, media relations; and Quinn Hampton, pre-event Rare Earth concert director. Tomaras adds, “Our list of people to thank for this festival is not yet complete as volunteers continue to join us to present a weekend of beautiful hot air balloons in the Sequim skies and entertaining events on our festival grounds.�

Then the basket is placed near the envelope and gently turned on its side with the burners facing toward the opening of the envelope. A huge fan is placed near the basket. Crew members stand on each side of the envelope to hold it open. The fan fills the envelope with cold air until it is about 80 percent full. The pilot steps into the basket, ignites the burners and uses short blasts from the burners to heat the air until the balloon is upright and ready for flight. During the flight, the pilot is in constant communication with the crew on the ground. When the pilot has picked a likely landing spot, the crew prepares to assist with the landing. This may require contacting the landowner for permission to land on private property if it has not been prearranged prior to the flight. When the balloon arrives, the crew may prepare to catch a line thrown from the basket to guide the aircraft to the ground. Conditions may not allow this maneuver, and the basket may gently touch down unaided. If winds should increase, the basket may drag a short distance over the ground. In that event, passengers are asked to hang on to the sides of the basket until the balloon comes to a complete stop. Once passengers have climbed out of the basket at the end of the flight, the crew will begin to pack up the balloon to prepare it for the next adventure. Passengers get into the chase vehicle and will be taken to the location of the traditional post-balloon flight celebration.

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