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A much larger than anticipated crowd turned out for the inaugural Balloons over Fayette, but officials are making changes to ensure the second edition set for June 17, 2017 goes off without a hitch. (Photo by Adam Hagy Photography)

The inaugural Balloons over Fayette in June proved to be a wildly popular event. Even given some difficulties in launching the first edition due to unexpected demand, the county is thrilled to bring the festival back, and they are prepared to make it an annual hit. At Thursday night’s Fayette County Board of Commissioners meeting, Anita Godbee, director of the Parks & Recreation Department, announced that Balloons Over Fayette will return June 17, 2017.
Godbee made the announcement upon being recognized for her department winning the District 4 Georgia Recreation and Park Association Special Event Award for last year’s festival.
Even with hopeful expectations, the first Balloons Over Fayette was far more popular than anyone involved could have imagined.
“Together we achieved much (last year). We went past our goal. We actually went way past,” said Godbee in thanking her staff, the county, and the many volunteers who gave their time. “When we were first thinking about the hot air balloon festival, we really thought that we’d only have about 2,500 people. We documented that we had over 10,000 people attend.”
As part of an effort to help this year’s festival run more smoothly, a couple of key changes have already been made. The festival will move this year from McCurry Park to the Whitewater High School/Sara Harp Minter Elementary School complex.
Also, online sales for tickets will be available soon through the county’s website to help cut down on lines. For more information, email recreation@fayettecountyga.gov.