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First Hot Air Balloon Festival held in Azerbaijan's Shamakhi

18 June 2023 15:00 (UTC+04:00)
First Hot Air Balloon Festival held in Azerbaijan's Shamakhi

The first Balloon Festival has been held in Azerbaijan on June 17-18, Azernews reports.

During the festival, concerts, and entertainment programs, master classes on various topics were organized for the guests. The presentation of the project was held for the participants, information was given about the balloons and the flight.

There was a demonstration flight on June 17, and the main flights of the festival with the participation of guests on June 18 in the morning. Today, in the morning, the Shamakhi sky was covered with balloons of various designs.

Speaking at the official opening ceremony of the festival in Shamakhi, the head of the Shamakhi District Executive Authority Tahir Mammadov said that Shamakhi has already become a city of open-air festivals.

He added that Shamakhi hosted the Grape and Wine Festival for the first time. He said that now, for the first time in Azerbaijan, the Hot Air Balloon Festival is being held in Shamakhi. This can be considered an indicator of development in the tourism sector. Tahir Mammadov said that Shamakhi is currently distinguished by the development of the tourism sector.

Then the representative of EZONE company Salman Rasulov said that hot air balloon trips are received with great interest all over the world. The main goal of holding the Hot Air Balloon Festival is to contribute to the development of tourism.

Salman Rasulov added that security measures related to the festival are one of the most priority issues. Soon, work is underway on the implementation of commercial flights. According to the Organizing Committee, the continuation of flights and the implementation of commercial flights in the future will depend on the interest in the project.

The representative of the EZONE company pointed out that the flights are conducted by professional foreign pilots.

Turkish expert Halis Aydoğan said that he was proud to be at the festival during his speech, expressed confidence that Shamakhi would become a suitable place for flying balloons in the future, and said that the first steps have been taken in Shamakhi with the Hot Air Balloon Festival in terms of tourism development.

Answering journalists' questions at the festival, German Ambassador to Azerbaijan Ralf Horleman congratulated Azerbaijan for holding the Hot Air Balloon Festival.

"This event is a great opportunity to show all the beauty of Azerbaijan to the world. Today in Shamakhi, the weather is very nice and everyone who comes has a lot of fun. I congratulate once again and wish success in this festival," Ralf Horlemann said.

George Dick, Israel's ambassador to Azerbaijan, who shared his impressions of the festival with journalists, said that today is a very pleasant day for Azerbaijan. Because Azerbaijan is hosting such a great event, holding the Hot Air Balloon Festival for the first time. The ambassador said that he saw parents, children, and young people here, there were people of different ages and nationalities at the festival, and he expressed his gratitude to the Heydar Aliyev Foundation and other institutions that supported the event.

The project was supported by Azerbaijan State Tourism Agency, Shamakhi District Executive Authority, State Civil Aviation Agency, Azeraeronavigation Air Traffic Administration (AZANS), and Heydar Aliyev Foundation.

Preparations for the balloon project in Azerbaijan lasted for 2 years. The balloons at the festival were made in Great Britain and Turkiye, and these balloons were notable for their interesting designs.

Within the framework of the festival, a concert program was organized with the participation of well-known performers. People's artists Faig Agayev, Miri Yusif, Honored artist Lala Mammadova, Dilara Kazimova, Eldar and Nigar and others appeared in front of the audience with hit songs.

The entertainment program of the festival includes master classes on various topics for both children and adults. The participants had the opportunity to participate in master classes on making clay figures, painting, puppet theater, board games, weaving, and other fields. Thus, the guests not only watched the flight of balloons but also spent an interesting and fun weekend.

The children of Azerbaijani martyrs who died for protecting the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan from Shamakhi and neighboring regions were also invited to the festival. They participated in the entertainment organized on the festival grounds and watched the flight of balloons, which always aroused the interest of children as well as adults. Gifts were presented to each of the children of the martyrs.

Note that flying in hot air balloons is one of the great opportunities for an unforgettable experience. Every year, balloon festivals are held in different countries of the world, and tourists visit the place where these flights are conducted.

The festival, which is one of the famous Hot Air Balloon Festivals held in Albuquerque, USA, was held for the first time in 1972. This event has attracted thousands of participants and has become one of the largest entertainment events in the United States. Balloon flights are currently organized in Australia's Canberra, Great Britain's Bristol, Switzerland's Chateau-Do, Spain's Igualada, Canada's Quebec, Russia's Velikiye Luki, Turkiye's Cappadocia, and other cities.

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