Officials reflect on 2017’s balloon fest

By SHERIDAN CYR

STAFF WRITER

The Plainville Fire Company’s 33rd annual Balloon Festival at Norton Park was a great success, attracting crowds all weekend long with entertainment for all ages.

Once the balloons came down and the dust had settled, town manager Robert Lee had a chance to review the 2017 festival.

“It was another successful balloon Festival, with close to record attendance this year,” said Lee. “We are very thankful to have the Fire Department put this together.”

The festival puts a highlight on Plainville for the weekend, bringing in a steady flow of people from all around the state. Due to issues with heavy traffic in the past, a new shuttle bus system was arranged two years ago.

“The traffic used to cause grid-lock. This being the second year we’ve used this system, we added additional busses to improve the traffic pattern even more,” said Lee. He said that minimal impact on Plainville and surrounding towns was the ultimate goal.

Plainville Police Chief Matt Catania agreed with Lee’s perspective.

“The traffic flow went really well. We’re very enthusiastic about how smoothly it went this year,” said Catania.

Response to the event has been positive. Catania said he and other members of the Police Department received many compliments both at the event, and afterwards via social media.

“It’s really a great thing that the Police Department, Fire Department and Town Council can all come together for this festival. It was a big success, and it’s always very rewarding to be there,” said Catania.

The festival is more than just a good time. It is a fundraiser put on by the Fire Department to raise money for community service such as donations to the Food Pantry and other town organizations, as well as for scholarships for students.

This year’s festival featured live music, a craft vendors show, a car show, a grand fireworks display, and of course, plenty of hot air balloons.

The Department is collecting photos of the event from all festival-goers. Submit photographs to info@plainvillefireco.com

Comments? Email scyr@SouthingtonObserver.com.