On Saturday morning, September 26, the annual parade kicked off the Balloon Race festivities. Every year, New Haven’s Chamber of Commerce hosts a Balloon Race following the parade. This year the theme for the float contest was “Hand’s Across the Sea” to honor New Haven’s sister town, Borgholzhausen, in Germany. The parade route started at the elementary school and ended at the high school. Out of the 10 floats that entered in the contest, the New Haven German-American Club won the grand prize of $250 to donate to a local charity.
The Balloon Festival is a good way for small town New Haven to boost its economy. With so many visitors, businesses such as restaurants, gas stations, and stores remain constantly busy.
Near the end of the day, the balloons started to go up. The race began when the first balloon took off. There were over 20 balloons that followed the lead. According to the rules, the balloon that drops closest to the landing site is declared the winner.
Brad Zobrist explained, “The Pepsi “hare” balloon landed on the Quick Farm off Hwy VV near Kohl City Road. The scoring target was there. Most balloons landed in the Kohl City area, about 6 miles west of New Haven.”
This year’s winner was Tom Caton who dropped 26ft from the target. His sponsor was Built by Bloch Custom Cabinets.
In second place was Ken Jay who was sponsored by Jim Stiles of Edward Jones Investments. Brad Zobrist mentioned, “His score was actually better (only 5 feet from the target), but was penalized 100 feet for landing in the scoring area.”
Third place was Brian Taylor, sponsored by Franklin County Construction, scoring 298 feet away from the target. Dan Albert placed 4th with 333 feet. His sponsor was Ruth Wiemann.
The winners are then awarded after the race with a reception.
Thankfully, the sky was clear and the festival was successful. The Chamber of Commerce thanks everyone for participating in this special occasion!