The dates are now set for the 2022 event and links to booking tickets are up on the Canowindra Challenge Inc website. Events will begin with the famous Canowindra Kookaburra being inflated Friday April 1st, with the ballooning tournament running through the week including the town community events culminating in the Cabonne Community Balloon Glow Saturday April 9th and the Finale of the Small Acres Cyder key grab Sunday April 10th.
A big thankyou to all the locals that embraced the concept this year with such a positive attitude, our committee took on the roles of CCI because we live here and wanted to do it for the community but it was always important the local community embraced the concept.
When we first banded together in January 2020, the Vision we all saw were the main street events, to just move away from the sports oval/showground precinct for a bit, we saw the parade/ shopping / celebrations.
We made our vision clear to popular local Tommy Jeffs who jumped on board to assist the committee of Adam Barrow, Kim Roberts, Jaymee Crowe & Annette Thomas and we also had help along the way from Sarah Cummings and Jack Traves.
We obviously missed 2020 due to Covid 19 but held on as long as we could to get 2021 up. An event that should take 12 months to plan was pulled together from February 1st to the main event on May 1st. We didn’t risk booking or paying deposits for equipment and planning until the last moment whilst we monitored NSW Health updates on the Covid pandemic.
The balloon tournament was a great event with Adam Barrow taking 3 weeks annual leave to run this event for his town. Thank You Adam. The balloonists had perfect conditions for their event. Too perfect in some instances with ballooning called off on some afternoons due to no wind. The Balloonists’ jovial friendly attitude was a pleasure to be around. They bought visitors by the hundreds to town every day.
We welcomed the pilots at a cocktail party on Thursday night. Thanks to Tommy Jeffs for allowing Montrose House as the host venue and supplying the nibblies. Thanks to our sponsors Sam Statham at Rosnay Wines and Small Acres Cyders for supplying the complimentary drinks.
Friday night we were treated to Flicker fest hosted by Sam Statham and a great night.
Saturday the longest day started at 5am at the oval prepping for the day ahead, to the street to run the street event then back to the Oval before finishing the tidy up at midnight.
I remember when I first contacted the Ben Hall Gang to participate in the parade, without hesitation they said “Yep.” That positive response was quite clear: we were on to a winner. Thanks for Adam and Jaymee for marshalling at the street parade, Tommy for organizing & leading the march, and Kim and Annette for all the stuff you don’t see, the Covid Plan, the microphone and speakers, the Traffic Plan, Event Management plan & the Anti-Terrorism plan (Yes that is correct Anti-Terrorism). And a hundred other things.
The balloon glow saw 7749 tickets sold, the entertainment was spectacular and we have been flooded with positive feedback. This was a real team effort.
Financially there are some bills still coming in but our treasurer Kim will proudly present a profit at our AGM tonight, and the books will be presented for everyone.
Thank you to our sponsors who took a leap of faith in us to back us & make this event a success.