Balloon championship delayed to October
BATON ROUGE - Organizers announced today that the 2012 Louisiana Hot Air Balloon Championship is being pushed back two months to October.
Ascension Parish officials said they rescheduled the event, which was to take place in two weeks, to Oct. 5 and 6 for more favorable weather conditions.
This morning the Louisiana Ballooning Foundation, which organizes the championship, expressed concern that not enough money had been raised to fund the event. A spokesperson for the Ascension Parish Festivals and Cultural Council said they did have the money secured, and would go ahead with the event.
"All activities planned will now only be improved upon, as continuing to make this a wonderful and exciting family friendly event remains the top priority," said spokesperson Charlotte Guedry. "The Ascension Festivals and Cultural Council will be securing all balloonists for the event, and providing all visitors an event certain to be successful."
The festival moved from Baton Rouge to Ascension Parish after the Pennington Biomedical Research Center, which hosted the event for years, chose not to host it again for safety reasons. A storm at last year's championship caused a lightning strike on the grounds.
After they weren't able to find a location in Baton Rouge suitable to host the event, organizers chose to relocate the festival to the Lamar-Dixon Expo Center in Gonzales.
News 2 will have more on this developing story later tonight.