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Expect to See Balloons over Monroe
Wednesday, November 20, 2002 12:00:00 AM - Monroe Ohio
Save the first weekend in August, 2003. Hot air balloons will decorate the skies over Middletown and Monroe for three days during the first of what is planned as an annual hot air balloon event.

Hot air balloons have been popular in Middletown since the US National Hot Air Balloon Championships were held here in 1992, 1993, and 1994. Many area residents have expressed the hope that a hot air balloon event would again be held here.

The 2003 event, planned for August 1, 2, 3 in Smith Park will likely include 30 or more balloons in a sanctioned competition, according to David Pearce, chairman of the event. The Mid-Miami Valley Chamber of Commerce and local hot air balloon pilots are working together to plan an exciting and interesting event to benefit the entire community.

The family-oriented event will provide local clubs and organizations with fund-raising opportunities as it promotes the quality of life in Middletown and the Mid-Miami Valley area. Local non-profit groups can earn funds for their treasuries as food vendors and by providing needed services for the event. In addition, many volunteer crew members and on-site support people will be needed to make the event successful.

Elements of the event include hot air balloon flights as weather permits, an evening balloon glow, entertainment of many types, a juried arts and crafts show, carnival rides and other elements. Organizers hope other entertainment and attraction venues in the area will coordinate with them to plan several entertainment opportunities for guests.

Hosted by the Mid-Miami Valley Chamber of Commerce, the Balloons in Middletown organizing committee members are: Balloon Event Chairman David Pearce of Bank One, NA; Balloon Event Vice-Chair Dan Sack who is also Chamber Board Chairman and owner of The Fourth R of Southwestern Ohio; David Daugherty, Chamber president; Dr. Mark Frazer, Summit Family Physicians and hot air balloon pilot; Emily Harris, Chamber event director; Perry Thatcher, Ample Industries and City of Middletown Council member; James Wannemacher, ACF Mortgage and hot air balloon pilot; and Ann Mort, Good News Magazine.

Anyone who wishes to be involved in the planning or production of the event is asked to contact Emily Harris, Chamber balloon event director, at 513-422-4551.
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