Pictured above is a classic Panda balloon. The Citrus Classic Balloon Festival will fill the sky with dozens of hot air balloons, including Limoneira Co.’s own lemon balloon, that will thrill visitors to Santa Paula Airport where the inaugural event will be held July 25 and July 26.

Citrus Classic to lift off, volunteers needed for hot air balloon festival

July 02, 2008
Santa Paula News
By Peggy Kelly Santa Paula TimesLater this month there will be a witch, goldfish, lemon, strawberry and panda in the sky above Santa Paula, and we’re not talking cloud formations. The Citrus Classic Balloon Festival is lifting off July 25-26, the first of what the organizer hopes will become an annual family geared event.The Citrus Classic will fill the sky with dozens of hot air balloons - including Limoneira Co.’s own lemon balloon - that will thrill visitors to Santa Paula Airport, where the inaugural event will be held. Organizer Carla Edwards promises the two-day Citrus Classic will have something for everybody, including those volunteers now being recruited.“Come and volunteer for an hour or so, even ten,” Edwards said with a laugh. “I have Seabees and naval families coming to volunteer, I have retirees from Ventura, Boy Scouts, ex-balloonists from Moorpark and Fillmore, Santa Clara River Valley Historical Railroad Society members, Newbury Park housewives” and various others, but only a handful of those closest to the event, Santa Paulans. Being a Citrus Classic volunteer not only will offer volunteers a wide variety of duties to choose from, but helping out includes free admission to the already pocketbook friendly event.Already famous as the “Capitol of Citrus” and the birthplace of Sunkist, Santa Paula is a fantastic locale for spectators and balloon pilots alike. “Only Santa Paula offers the spectacular sight of hot air balloons flying over field crops, orchards and working ranches relatively unchanged since the turn of the century” and towards the Pacific Ocean, noted Edwards.On July 25 at 5 p.m. the Classic will open with the Balloon Glow, a “spectacular family experience” that offers spectators the rare opportunity to observe the balloons being inflated with warm air, tethered and illuminated, all set to the music of noted DJ Bruce Barrios. On Saturday morning at 6 a.m., the balloons launch through 8 a.m. and one by one ascend against the backdrop of South Mountain, the Topa Topas and the Pacific Ocean.
Balloons will compete in a “Hare & Hound Race” competition for this year’s championship and, as a special treat for children, fantasy balloons will remain inflated in the Balloon Arena for tethered rides to children younger than 5, if weather permits. The two-day festival will also feature live music and entertainment, crafts, souvenirs, art displays, Beer Garden, remote radio broadcasts, and food and refreshments. “Sunny” the Sunkist mascot, soccer stars and Rawley Mathis, the 9-year-old rodeo Roping champion will also entertain.The July 26 Closing Ceremonies begin at noon as local dignitaries award the 2008 Citrus Classic Champion Trophy and prizes to winning balloon pilots, and the Landowner’s Prize to a lucky resident. “With the grand finale we’ll celebrate Ventura County’s amazing spirit of community,” as well as those, said Edwards, who have come together to help start an annual celebration “for every generation.”The Citrus Classic is also expected to bring visitors to Santa Paula: “Admission is only $5 - free to volunteers - for adults, $3 for children 5 to 14, and free for kids under 5,” a bargain when compared to similar events. “We want to make sure that everyone can enjoy the Citrus Classic, it’s so unique and impressive, a real community event,” that Edwards said she hopes eventually might just add another nickname to the city... the Hot Air Balloon Capital of the World.For more information visit the website at www.citrusclassicballoons.com. Volunteers can call 805-432-0903 or email citrusclassic@aol.com.

Site Search



Call 805 525 1890 to receive the entire paper early. $50.00 for one year.