The Convention and Visitors Bureau will host this year’s Hot Air Balloon State Championship on September 6-8 in Harrison, Arkansas.
The event is usually sponsored by the Harrison Regional Chamber of Commerce (CoC) but it has decided not to for a few reasons such as time and limited resources.
“Our Chamber is creating an environment of growth,” said Chamber Board Chair, Gwen Hoffmann. “Honestly, festivals restrain the progress of community development. We spend 70-90 percent of our time preparing for a festival for a very limited rate of return. We also have to deal with the uncertainty of the weather.”
Another reason for the CoC’s decision to step away is that rules have been changed by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), for example, security aspects of the gas-filled balloon, according to a news release.
Chamber President and CEO Bob Largent said, “It was a difficult decision, but the board has to look at the big picture.”
Largent also said, “We are pleased that the CVB and Explore Harrison have made this commitment, and we’ll work with them to transfer our knowledge to make the 2019 event a success.”