Balloons Over Vermilion July 2022 - Page 6

was more of people who were pent up and wanted to go outside and another part was people were just going because of the weather for that Saturday .”
For the event , that also started running the Festival of Trees last year , the important drive is to work on using their profits for the community .
“ We gave away $ 150,000 to 17 different organizations in the area ,” O ’ Shaughnessy said . “ The 150,000 was a benchmark that we will try to hit with both events and we want to help people understand that the $ 5 that you spend for admission and parking helps out for the community .”
Cooke said that while most people may stay in Danville for a day , the chance for more to stay for both days are increased from last year .
“ We had a lot of people on the ground ,” Cooke said . “ The difference was that we had a lot of daytrippers , who came in and out . We didn ’ t have any traditional hotel visits , but those visits are back based on reports .
“ I would say they would come from a longer distance and that would give us more hotel rooms . But it is not just the hotel rooms , it is putting gas in the cars , stopping to eat a sandwich before going to the airport . The visitors ’ dollar is about different reasons people come out and leave dollars for us .”
Along with the visitors , the pilots also have major positive reviews
“ They love our event and they have been flying on and off the past few years because of the pandemic . But they have loved our event and named us the No . 3 event after our first year and we thought that was great ,” O ’ Shaugnessy said . “ We spoil the pilots and they are the rock stars of the event because you can ’ t have this event without them . They are important to us and we treat them right and they treat our sponsors right .”
The flight crew of hot air balloon flies towards the Vermilion Regional Airport last year during a corporate sponsor flight . Photo by Deb Edwards