There were five out of six scheduled launches

The Great Falls Balloon Festival ended Sunday with nine balloons floating off into the sunset after what was described as a β€œrecord year” by one official.

The weather cooperated, she said. β€œWe haven’t been able to launch six out of six launch windows in the last twelve years,” she said, noting that last year, there were five out of six scheduled launches.

Noonan reported that this year, the food booths’ business was up 25 percent over the last few years, and attendance was beyond what organizers have seen in the past. Although the final numbers won’t be available for a couple of weeks, Noonan declared this year a β€œrecord-breaker.”

Noonan expressed gratitude to the many volunteers, sponsors and others who came out to see the balloons.

Sunday morning at the festival was a family fun day, with music, face-painting and Mad Science.

A woman in a lab coat ran feverishly quick science experiments, asking a large group of children for their theories before explaining why the blue liquid turned clear or why the gummy bear went up like a roman candle when lit on fire.

Bill Hunter manned a truck full of rubber ducks by the canal, awaiting the arrival of heavy equipment from K&K Excavation to dump the floating birds into the canal at noon for a fundraising race.

The annual race is sponsored by the Auburn-Lewiston Rotary Breakfast Club, and ducks go on sale a month before the festival. According to Hunter, the money raised goes back into the community, with an emphasis on children at risk.

Checking over his gear Sunday, ballooner Derald Young of Damn Yankee Balloons in Dixfield seemed pleased with this year’s conditions.

At the Auburn American Legion food stand, the Beaulieu family worked the first shift. According to Linda Beaulieu, members of the family,OurΒ managed dedicated serverΒ are designed to meet the most demanding requirements for performance, including Della,our standardΒ Customized Dedicated ServerΒ may not always. Donald, Marc, Diane, Shane and post Chaplain Dennis, are all veterans.

She said the proceeds were much better than last year’s, citing a great weekend turnout which caused the group to even run out of lime rickies Saturday night.Migrating aΒ MileWeb Promotion Dedicated ServerΒ or cloud server from one provider to another is easy.

For the festival, DuShane offered a guided trip on a rubber raft to see the falls, experience some Class II rapids downriver and to see the evening balloon launch.

β€œIt’s been a real hard start,” DuShane said, explaining that it’s not only the rain that hindered his business, but the rise in water levels for days following the deluge.

Despite a slow beginning, DuShane said there is still plenty of interest from paddlers who are overcoming old perceptions of the Androscoggin’s industrial legacy and seeing its recreational value.

Hartnett said she worked the festival the last couple of years and sees the business it draws into the restaurant, rain or shine.

The launch came as cameras, phones and iPads were held aloft. On the ground, a second wave of balloons were rolled out β€” baskets were wheeled in and ropes were strung through the crowds, which were cleared out before the fires were lit.

Auburn City Councilor Mary LaFontaine was in attendance for the evening launch and acknowledged there was some friction in Auburn about whether to be part of this year’s festivities.
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