VIDEO: Glowing commendations for Canowindra's Balloon Challenge

LIGHTING UP THE SKY: Canowindra's Balloon Glow. Photo LAWRANCE RYAN.

LIGHTING UP THE SKY: Canowindra's Balloon Glow. Photo LAWRANCE RYAN.

CANOWINDRA'S Balloon Glow and Night Markets were the toast of the town on Saturday night, capping off a spectacular week of ballooning events.

Organisers Jan and Graham Kerr estimate almost 7000 people from around the region poured into Canowindra Showground  for the Balloon Glow and Night Markets, featuring the best of the region's food and wine.

"People have been saying it's the best balloon glow they've ever seen," Mrs Kerr said.

"The markets really made it, with the combination of local produce and craft. The children with the glow wands were just beautiful and made the glow really magical." 

Canowindra's 2014 Balloon Glow

Sheep dog trials, craft markets, local dance and performance groups as well a busking competition kept revellers busy before the main show lit up the sky after 7pm.

Last week's challenge saw the crowning of a new national champion in Matthew Scaife, with Sean Kavanagh and Peter Wright flying in second and third in the national championships.

Yudai Fujita was the highest ranking international pilot, coming in third in the international competition. 

"The competition was fairly tight and the director was exceedingly happy," Mrs Kerr said.

"There were no protests from the pilots because it was so well directed."

The Kerrs praised the town of Canowindra for embracing the balloon challenge.

"The people of Canowindra really opened their arms to welcome the international pilots and visitors to the town, I've never seen so many people in the showground," Mrs Kerr said.

"[The Balloon Challenge] achieved what we wanted and businesses, schools and community groups in Canowindra have really reaped the benefits."

"The people of Canowindra really opened their arms to welcome the international pilots and visitors to the town, I've never seen so many people in the showground"

It wasn't just the locals blown away by the Balloon Glow though.

"The pilots were all thrilled, they said it was the best balloon glow they'd ever been a part of," Mrs Kerr said.

Mr Kerr said he success of this year's event has far-reaching implications for the town in the international ballooning community.

"From a ballooning perspective, we've put Canowindra and Australia on the horizon," Mr Kerr said.

'We've introduced new technology into the competition and put Canowindra on the map with an overseas director and pilots participating from overseas. All the pilots have commented they've seen technology here they haven't seen anywhere else in the world."

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