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50 pilots to fly in European Balloon Festival in central Catalonia

Two 28-passenger capacity baskets at 26th edition with no restrictions

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23 June 2022 11:51 AM

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ACN | Igualada

The European Balloon Festival returns from July 6 to 10 without restrictions and with around 50 hot air balloon pilots. During the event there will be two 28-passenger capacity baskets that will fly in Spain for the first time ever. 

The festival, held in the central Catalonia town of Igualada, will also have a ‘Night Glow’ event, with dozens of balloons lighting up the sky on the evening of July 9. After this memorable moment, the Catalan music group Sopa de Cabra will perform.

Hot air balloon flights are not the only planned events. Organizers have scheduled activities for children and adults that will take place inside the ‘Iglús de Vent’ (“Wind igloos” in English) made out of recycled fabrics. 

With still some days to go, 48 hot air balloons have signed up for the 26th edition of the festival so far. Pilots come from all over the world, from Egypt to Argentina, Latvia, England, Switzerland, France, Portugal, or Italy. 

The last two editions were smaller because of Covid, but 2022 marks the return of the full festival with no restrictions in place. 

"The style of the event will be similar to pre-pandemic celebrations, but we always try to have something special," Josep Maria Lladó, director of the European Balloon Festival, said on Wednesday. 

"As we do not have big size hot air balloons like the ones in Cappadocia or Africa, [...] we will fly two balloons that can carry up to 28 passengers plus the pilot," he added. 

The baskets for these specific balloons are 5.2 meters wide by 1.7 meters long - the biggest to ever fly in Spain. These two balloons will take off on Thursday carrying the vast majority of Ultramagic’s company staff, the hot air balloon manufacturer. 

Because there are no restrictions, the festival has scheduled flights in the morning from Thursday to Sunday, and flights in the afternoon from Thursday to Saturday in addition to ‘Night Glow’, which will take place on Saturday night.

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  • Several hot air balloons during the 2021 European Balloon Festival in Igualada on July 9, 2021 (by Mar Martí)

  • Several hot air balloons during the 2021 European Balloon Festival in Igualada on July 9, 2021 (by Mar Martí)

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