THE man who breathed life into the ailing Llangollen Balloon festival is celebrating earning his balloon pilot’s licence.
David Green’s Xuberance Event Management company saved the festival two years ago.
And legendary balloonist Per Lindstrand, known for his series of record-breaking transoceanic hot air flights with Virgin boss Sir Richard Branson, was among the first to congratulate him.
He said: “It’s good David has gained his balloon licence, I’m pleased.
“It gives the Balloon Festival added credibility he is a qualified pilot and everyone thinks very highly of him and of the event.”
That means David, 27 from Llangollen, will be at the controls himself when this year’s festival lifts off at the Royal International Pavilion from August 29-31.
David said: “Funny thing is I’m not great with heights, I get nervous walking across the aqueduct or up a high ladder but it’s not like that at all in a balloon.
“When you lift off the sensation isn’t of going up but of the earth dropping away from underneath you.”
This year’s festival will be spread over three days instead of two with an opening night party on Friday, August 29, with live music and balloons taking off at 6pm and on Saturday and Sunday instead of last year’s impressive tally of 15 balloons soaring over the town, David hopes to have more than 20.
Another highlight will be the Saturday nightglow when all the balloons will gather above the site and switch their burners on to the accompaniment of live music.
There will also be balloon tethering displays, motorcycle display riders, falconry, horse-riding and a children’s area featuring workshops and games.
The pavilion will also again host the UK’s only indoor model hot air balloon festival, a large craft fair, a funfair and a host of stalls.
For further information visit www.hotairballoonfestival.co.uk.