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20th Balloon Festival to lift off August 17-19

The 20th Annual Great Falls Balloon Festival takes flight August 17, 18 and 19, promising a weekend of soaring hot-air balloons, dozens of food vendors, plenty of live entertainment, a parade, a carnival and a Family Fun Day.

Special-shape balloons include Arky—the first special shape that visited the festival 20 years ago; Gus T. Guppy; The Flying Purple People Eater; and Stinky the Skunk. At least 19 balloons are scheduled to take part in the festival.

Jonathan Edwards will headline the stage at Simard-Payne Memorial Park in Lewiston on Friday, August 17. The word “legend” is often used to describe veteran folk-rocker Edwards, whose 1971 best-selling song “Sunshine” brought him instant fame. Since that time, he has recorded 15 albums, collaborated with artists like Emmylou Harris and Jimmy Buffett, performed in theater, commercials, movie soundtracks and a TV series, as well as produced records.

This year the Great Falls Balloon Festival has a new way for visitors to stay on top of festival details. Available as a free download from the Apple app store, fans can get up-to-date schedule information, as well as a list of food vendors and their offerings, photos and details about visiting hot-air balloons, a map of the festival grounds and a list of festival supporters. The app was developed by Appy, Inc. of South Paris, Maine.

The festival serves as a way for non-profit, civic and community organizations to raise funds. In 2011, 34 local non-profits raised over $160,000 to support their missions.

Sponsorships for the 20th Annual Great Falls Balloon Festival are available at seven levels and start at just $350. Volunteers are always welcome.

For more information about the festival, balloon launches and rides, food and entertainment, sponsorships and volunteering, see or




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