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Thursday, May 5, 2005 3:36:29 PM - Monroe Ohio

May 5, 2005








The Ohio Challenge Hot Air Balloon Festival committee, led by chairperson Ginger Bruggeman, has just a few more balloon sponsorships and a few food and craft vendor spots still available.  Nearly half the available balloon sponsorships are already taken. Many food and craft vendors are already planning to provide their wares at the July 22-24 event to be held in Smith Park in downtown Middletown.


Those interested in sponsoring an individual hot air balloon or becoming a general sponsor of the event which drew over 71,000 people in 2004, should make their interest known. Balloon sponsors are limited to the 30 balloons invited to compete in the event. Several general sponsorship options are available as well.


The 2005 event will feature the sanctioned balloon competition along with a full slate of entertainment options including sky divers, live music each evening, antique airplane rides, carnival rides and rugby games.


2005 will be the third year for the new event, subsidized during its start-up years by grants from the City of Middletown/Convention and Visitors Bureau and Middletown Community Foundation.  As those grants expire, the addition of other sponsorships and revenue from vendor booth rentals, parking fees, souvenirs, soft drink and beer sales will become more important to the economic stability of the event. 


Already, the 2005 official balloon lapel pin is available through the Chamber office at $5 each. The pin features the 2004 Ohio Challenge champion Ron Terranova’s balloon,  “Adam’s Nirvana” as a part of the design.  Official t-shirts will be available soon.


Craft and food vendors can find application forms and pertinent information at the website A limited number of vendor spaces are available with electric and water service.


The Ohio Challenge, with primary sponsor Mid-First Credit Union, is hosted by the Chamber of Commerce serving Middletown, Monroe and Trenton. 


For more information, call 513-422-4551 or visit

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