High-flying fiesta of fun awaits revellers

TETHERED rides on hot air balloons will be carried out twice per day at the highly anticipated Penang Hot Air Balloon Fiesta at the Polo Ground on Feb 21 and 22.

Penang Global Tourism CEO Ooi Chok Yan said that on both days, three tethered balloons would be open for rides from 7.30am to 10.30am and from 6pm to 9pm, weather permitting.

“The rides, at RM25 per person, are on a first-come-first-served basis, and strictly no reservations or pre-selling of tickets are allowed.

“Numbered tags will be given out 30 minutes prior to the opening of the counter, and ticket purchase will be available to the first 180 visitors in the queue with the numbered tags,” he said, adding that each tag holder could purchase up to four tickets.

Penang Global Tourism CEO Ooi Chok Yan
Penang Global Tourism CEO Ooi Chok Yan

Ooi also said that to go on the rides, one must meet a minimum height requirement of 4ft (1.22m), and refunds would be given if the weather prohibited the balloons from taking flight.

He also advised passengers to dress in pants or shorts because of the climb into the hot air balloon.

Ooi said that besides shuttle buses from the Rapid Penang Terminal (Jetty), Tesco Tanjung Tokong and Queensbay Mall to Padang Polo and back from 7am to 10pm, designated parking places would also be provided for the public at four locations.

The locations are St Christopher’s International Primary School in Jalan Nunn, SMK Tunku Puan Habsah in Jalan Sepoy Lines, St George’s Girls’ School in Jalan Macalister and SK Jalan Residensi in Jalan Residensi.

The state-sponsored RM650,000 event will see 15 hot air balloons soaring in the sky above Penang.

There will also be activities such as an inflatable playground, creative workshops, archery, paramotor performance, and remote plane and helicopter demonstrations.

A fun run will be held on Feb 21 from 7am from the Polo Ground to Penang Municipal Park.

Take note, shutterbugs, a photography contest open to Malaysians aged above 18 will be held, and a children’s colouring contest will provide fun for the kids.

Visit mypenang.gov.my/hab for details of the events and contests.

Penang Municipal Council traffic engineer Zainuddin Mohamad Shariff said Jalan Sepoy Lines would be closed on Feb 20 from 7pm for preparations for the event.

“On the days of the event, the road will be closed from 7am to 12am,” he said, adding that if there was traffic congestion, the police would open a direct route along Jalan Utama.

There will also be a test flight for a hot air balloon this Sunday, with take-off at 7am from the Penang Municipal Park.

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