Organisers of the inaugural Wellingborough Balloon Festival over the August Bank Holiday weekend say final preparations are under way.
They say thousands of people are expected to attend the not-for-profit event which runs from Saturday, August 29, to Monday, August 31, at Sywell Aerodrome.
The event is being organised by a team of volunteers and is seeking to raise money for a number of community organisations and projects.
Event communications officer Steph Green said: “When we decided to put this event together, we wanted to run an event which first of all generates funds for local organisations but also provides an affordable day out for local people.
“We had wanted to run the event as a completely free day out for the community in Croyland Park, Wellingborough, but the lack of parking on site led to concerns from the local authority and as a result we have came to an arrangement with Sywell Aerodrome which is the perfect venue.
“With the costs of insurances and traffic management, we will be charging for car parking but those who travel by public transport can attend for free.”
Organisers of the balloon festival also organised last year’s free firework display in Croyland Park.
Event co-ordinator David Green said: “When we did the firework display, a lot of the feedback was that people expected a short five-minute display with a few bangs and we really blew them away.
“With the balloon festival, it is the first time we have done something like this.
“We want people to know that when they arrive on site, they will pay a set entry fee per vehicle regardless of the amount of occupants and that there is a good number of activities besides ballooning.
“The last thing we want is people to turn up expecting a huge number of balloons, when the reality is that the number will be lower when compared to established events but we will have a number of very cool special shape balloons.
“In addition, if the weather does not co-operate, we may have no flights at all.
“With all things considered, we expect the event to be a great day out and look forward to seeing it develop into a large annual event through time.”
All operational profits will be shared by Glamis Hall, Friends of Croyland Gardens and Wellibus – which is providing an accessible bus service to the event.
Organisers also plan to make a donation to the local region of the British Ballooning and Airship Club.
Groups and charities including the Wellingborough Black Consortium and Chelsea’s Angels will have stalls at the event, and singer/songwriter Carly Loasby will be among those performing.