Saturday, August 22, 2009

Quebec's Gatineau Hot Air Balloon Festival


Quebec's Festival de montgolfieres de Gatineau (Gatineau Hot Air Balloon Festival) presents its 22nd edition Labor Day weekend, Sept. 4-7, 2009. The annual festival features 59 hot air balloons from Quebec and other Canadian provinces, the US and Europe. There are also balloon rides ($190 CDN per person), the Agropur Night Glow (where pilots light up their balloons), entertainment (including Kenny Rogers), extreme sports demos, an amusement park, classic cars exhibition and more than 30 food concessions.

New this year are the Bistro SAQ, where you can enjoy a drink on the terrace and the Tim Hortons pit stop and picnic area, a fun place for kids with its shaded sand boxes, picnic tables and umbrellas. The family festival is offering free admission to kids 20 and under and new family activities have been added. The popular insect collection of Gatineau's Roch Defayette, one of the finest in Canada, is making a return visit. It includes around 5,000 specimens from 75 countries.

For more information on the region, go to Outaouais Tourism.

Hot air balloon over Woodinville, Washington
Photo by Sue Frause