Balloon Festival


The Great Falls Balloon Festival started in August of 1993 and it is always held on the 3rd week in August. Dr. John Reeder, one of the festivals original planners, was the Balloomeister of the first Great Falls Balloon Festival.

The six people responsible for the balloon festival were Pat Salka, Laurie Winsor, Brad Paige, Rachel Degrosselliers, Bethel Scheilds and Dr.John Reeder. Ms. Degrosselliers said the Great Falls Balloon Festival means "Family fun, fantasy---and finance". The balloon festival was started to bring attention to Lewiston and Auburn. Ms. Degrosselliers' prediction that "...the local economy would soar right along with the hot-air balloons." Today this festival draws thousands and thousands of people to the banks of the Androscoggin River. It has made Lewiston-Auburn a better community.

"The sight is's fantasy. Everyone dreams of going on a hot air balloon ride. Whenever people see them up in the sky, cars stop along the road everybody's looking, cameras come out.", said a very enthusiastic Ms. Desgrosselliers.

The balloons can take off from any good flat fields. Every year parents and children looks forward to seeing the big hot air balloons they bring joy and happiness to everyone.

When interviewing Dr. John Reeder, we asked him a questions like "Is it scary in a balloon?" He said "Not at all! Even people who are afraid of heights aren't afraid in a hot air balloon. It just feels like they are in thin air, because they are. It is quiet and very peaceful up there". Dr. John Reeder says he loves flying his hot air balloon.

Mr. James Rodrigue explained that the burner on a balloon works by the pressure. The more pressure it has the faster it comes out. You press the handle on the burner then fire comes out. The burner uses to be propane gas to make a flame that warms the air. It is this hot air that allows the envelop to fill up and rise off the ground. The propane gas allows the balloon to fly for 1 to 3 hours depending on its size and how many passengers are in the basket.

A hot air balloon can go as high as it wants to go, but if you want to go 10,000 feet the pilot needs and air mask. If you want to go 15,000 feet the passengers will need an air mask. They normally go 1,000 to 3,000 feet high.

The hot air balloon goes to where ever the wind takes them. You should go to the Great Falls Balloon Festival every single year there is. Maybe you could go up in a hot air balloon.

The complete list of interview questions and answers can be seen on another page.

We are writing our own the Power Point book about a Hot Air Balloon using Power Point Presentation.

This page created by Hannah, Kelley, & Courtney (2001)

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Interview with Dr. John Reeder on January 31,2001

The Annual Balloon Fest The Lewison Sun-Journal August 1991

The Lewiston Sun-Journal from Friday, August 20, 1993

 Music from Rick Charest Alligator in the Elevator 30 seconds of "Hot Air Balloon"