‘Animals’ flying high in the sky


  • Community
  • Saturday, 12 Mar 2016

Mister Z the Zebra from the US is one of the hot air balloons that is being featured at the eighth International Hot Air Balloon Fiesta in Putrajaya.

DON’T be surprised if you see a zebra, lobster, bee or an alien rocket in the skies over Putrajaya, as the city’s International Hot Air Balloon Fiesta is back for its eighth installation.

The event showcases more than 20 balloons from all over the world, including Bobo the Happy Lobster from Belgium, yellow jacket Bee Balloon from Brazil, Mister Z the Zebra from the United States, Alien Rocket from Canada and a replica of the first hot air balloon.

The fiesta, which ends tomorrow, has activities in store for all age groups from 7am to 9pm daily.

Aside from viewing the hot air balloons and acrobatic Paramotor shows, the public can take part in a colouring contest and reverse bungees besides enjoying the orb ball, paddle boat rides and surrey bikes at the Extreme Zone.

At RM30 for adults and RM20 for children, families can enjoy picnic at the Pink Zone on picnic mats or beanbags.

The highlight of the event is the Night Glow. In the evening from 6pm onwards, you can view the hot air balloons being lighted up at the launch area and transformed into psychedelic, giant light bulbs in the sky.

AKA Balloon Sdn chief executive officer Izzati Khairudin said the organisers were expecting 350,000 visitors.

“With the school holidays, we are expecting a good crowd. We hope to be better every year.

She said the response was so good that the pre-booked tickets online had sold out

“But the public can still buy tickets on site, on first-come-first-served basis.

She and her sister Atiqah are also hot air balloon pilots taking part in the fiesta.

Hot air balloon pilot Eugene Lee, 37, who is based in Manila, the Philippines, still remembers his first time piloting a hot air balloon.

“The weather was perfect. I flew above the clouds and it felt as though I was walking on the clouds, it was so calm and serene,” he said.

That wonderful experience further spurred his interest in hot air balloons.

With him was fellow pilot Jeon Kwang Il, 50, who has participated in hot air balloon events in Thailand, China, Japan and the US. This is the fourth time the South Koreans are visiting Malaysia and they have also taken part in the Penang Hot Air Balloon Festival.

For details on the Putrajaya International Hot Air Balloon Fiesta, go to www.myballoonfiesta.com

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