Putrajaya’s Hot Air Balloon Fiesta back this 28-31 March
COME March 28, look up at the skies and you may see a monkey, cat, Smurf or a clown flying over Putrajaya as the annual Putrajaya International Hot Air Balloon Fiesta is back. Organised for the fifth time, the hot air balloon festival will be held from March 28 to 31 at the Millen-nium Monument in Precinct 2, Putrajaya. It is organised by AKA Balloon Sdn Bhd, Putrajaya Corporation (PPj) and the Malaysian Sports Aviation Federation (MSAF). This time around, there will be three female pilots and nine new pilots.
Twenty-four balloons from France, the US, Germany, Japan, Belgium, Switzerland, Vietnam, the Nether-lands, New Zealand, Thailand, India and, of course, Malaysia will be participating. It is the first time that Poland, Spain and Australia are taking part. There will be six special balloons that will take to the skies, including Buzzy and a Tune Talk balloon. “We are delighted to have been given this opportunity to, once again, put Malaysia on the map of ballooning. “Since the inception of the first Putrajaya Hot Air Balloon Fiesta back in 2009, Malaysia has grown to become one of the more popular Asian destinations for the ballooning community,” said Putrajaya Inter-national Hot Air Balloon Fiesta chairman Mohammad Sobri Saad.
For four days, every morning from 7am to 9am, balloonists will participate in a ballooning competition, vying for Rudy’s Trophy — a trophy named after the late fiesta chairman and co-founder Khairuddin Abd Rani. For the competition, one pre-determined balloon, known as the “hare” will first take off. The other participating balloons, known as “hounds”, will launch at pre-determined intervals after the “hare”. The “hare” then lands at a suitable site and lays out a large piece of fabric, forming the letter ‘X’, marking this as the target. The “hounds” then attempt to drop their markers as close to the ‘X’ as possible. The closest marker will garner the highest score. In the evenings, the balloonists will again take to the skies for a balloon show at 6pm.
One of the highlights is the “night glow” event on March 30, where the balloons will light up in a synchronised manner to the sounds of music, culminating in a fireworks display. Visitors can also look forward to a myriad of activities such as model hot air balloon demonstrations and meet-and-greet sessions with the balloonists. Adventurous visitors can visit the Mountain Dew Extreme Zone to try zorbing, car simulators, hamster roll, paintball and more. Helicopter joy rides will be available on March 30 and 31.
Members of the public can go for the tethered hot-air balloon rides from 7.30am to 10.30am and 7pm to 10pm daily for RM20 per person. The ride will be hoisted 60 feet off the ground. “The fiesta offers lots of exciting activities that will keep the young ones occupied — from colouring competitions and stage performances by cartoon characters to carnival games and rides,” said event director Izzati Khairudin. Admission to the fiesta is free.
Visitors are encouraged to use the KLIA Transit to Putrajaya as KLIA Transit will be offering a 30% discount on ticket rates during the four days. From the Putrajaya station, the public can take the Nadi Putra buses which will ferry them directly to fiesta grounds. Alternatively, visitors can also choose to drive to any of Putrajaya’s ‘Park & Ride’ points and take the Nadi Putra buses. Here is also some info and pictures from the last Putrajaya International Hot Air Balloon Fiesta 2012.
Source: The Star Online – http://thestar.com.my/metro/story.asp?file=/2013/3/22/central/12865609&sec=central