Balloons a big drawcard

by Kent Caddick

Balloonists from all over New Zealand descended on Selwyn for the inaugural Hororata Night Glow event put on by the Hororata Community Trust.

During a week of beautiful weather heading into the weekend event, the balloons delighted local communities as they flew en masse over the Selwyn district to the Night Glow event area at Hororata Domain.

However, on Saturday the skies turned grey forcing the Night Glow to be postponed. The rain stopped Sunday afternoon as gates opened and 10,000 people were treated to a fun-filled festival and spectacular performance from 12 balloons.

“So many people have worked around the clock to make the Hororata Night Glow come to fruition,” event manager, Cindy Driscoll said. 

“The weather challenged us, but we always believed the event would happen. Our weather team did an amazing job predicting how things were going to unfold.”

She said making the call to postpone was a difficult one. 

“Our decision was based on providing the best chance for the balloons to perform their show and this proved to be the right one.

“The balloonists really wanted to perform not only for the crowd — but also for our wide community of locals and volunteers from both near and far. They have been overwhelmed with the hospitality they have experienced this week.

“We are lucky to have Ballooning Canterbury based in our community as they have the experience to coordinate the Night Glow.”

Once the gates opened on Sunday, the public were given the opportunity to walk through a cold inflated balloon, climb in a basket and fire the burners, watch a special shaped balloon float above the grounds and learn the science behind hot air balloons with a display from the University of Canterbury.

“The festival surrounding the balloons was really special,” Mrs Driscoll said.

“Live music created a great vibe while people enjoyed the huge range of food, arts and craft stalls, the famous Hororata Pie and much more. Ten community groups took the chance to run their own fundraisers.

“Thank you to all the balloonists, partners, stall holders, suppliers and of course the huge team of volunteers who made this event possible. 

“We have been humbled by the support we received from everyone who came, and even those who couldn’t. Our community has big dreams, and the Hororata Night Glow is part of us being able to achieve them,” she said. 

Balloons over Selwyn prior to the weekend’s Night Glow event

Those attending the Hororata were given the opportunity to walk 
inside an inflated balloon. Photo by John De Vries

Balloons being readied for lift off in the Hororata Domain