Cornwall Lift-Off began in 1994 and grew into three days of balloons, music, fireworks, classic car shows, pancake breakfasts and more. Lift Off was the only hot air balloon festival in all of Ontario. But I think the emphasis gradually moved away from the balloons and more towards the evening entertainment, with the emphasis on bringing in top name bands.
Costs of operating the event rose as a result, as did the risk. When attendance dropped, or bad weather dampened spirits, the money brought in wasn’t enough to pay the escalating bills.
Perhaps Lift-Off could come back, with the emphasis on the balloons and LOCAL attractions and entertainers. It would cost a fraction of what it was costing to hold the event. For a financially struggling community, let’s consider spending some money on LOCAL entertainment, and keep the money here. We could also create a ‘Food Fest’ event in the park, much like Ribfest, but featuring LOCAL restaurateurs.
That way, money isn’t spent on out-of-town ribbers and out-of-town bands. We raise money here, spend money here, and most of it would stay here. I think that could be a win-win situation for everyone involved.
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