Fri, Jul 06, 2018 - Page 14 News List

Highlight: Hot air balloon festival

By Brigitte Wu  /  Contributing reporter

The Taiwan International Balloon Festival begins this weekend in Taitung County.

Photo courtesy of balloontaiwan.taitung.gov.tw

In 2011, Taitung County (台東) held its first hot air balloon festival. Since then, the Taiwan International Balloon Festival (臺灣國際熱氣球間年華) has attracted folks from across the globe. Although usually held for 38 days, the festival will last 45 days this year; Taitung County Commissioner Justin Huang (黃健庭) extended the festival in order to help attract tourism in the region following the fatal earthquake in Hualien, just north of Taitung, in February.

The festival will feature over 39 different balloons, including famous landmarks or icons such as Christ the Redeemer statue and Minions from the movie Despicable Me.

In addition to hot air balloon rides, which typically last 30 to 40 minutes and cost NT$500 per person, the festival also includes light shows and concerts. This year, the festival boasts a special show staged with an open house at Taitung Air Force Base; the show combines hot air balloons with a display of military fighter aircraft and a musical performance. The annual festival will also showcase a light show at the National Taitung University Library (臺東大學圖書館), which was named by the world’s leading architecture Web site architzer.com as one of eight unique national libraries in the world.

■ For complete details, visit the Chinese and English-language Web site: balloontaiwan.taitung.gov.tw

■ Until Aug. 13

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