Ascension Parish Hot Air Balloon Festival turns profit
GONZALES - Officials say the two-day Ascension Hot Air Balloon Festival last month at Lamar-Dixon Expo Center turned a $105,000 profit after drawing record crowds of 54,000.
Ascension Parish President Tommy Martinez said Monday that with this year's estimated take, the Ascension Festivals and Cultural Council Inc., the nonprofit behind the festival, will have enough money on hand to weather a down year. Martinez said this year's profit brings the group's total funds to about $162,000.
The profit in the festival's fourth year at Lamar-Dixon is a turnaround for an event that just two years ago had to have the parish government bail it out to the tune of $100,000.