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County News
Magistrate Huang Thanks Pilots and Visitors as 2016 Taiwan International Balloon Festival Resumes July 17 with 7 Specially-Shaped Balloons
Date: 2016-07-17    
“Taitung and the hot air balloons are back on their feet!” After a week of tireless effort at restoring Taitung since Typhoon Nepartak hit, the Taitung County Government announced that the 2016 Taiwan International Balloon Festival would resume on July 17. Magistrate Justin Huang and his wife offered expressions of gratitude to the pilots, event workers, and tourists who have supported Taitung. Even 90-year-old Doris Brougham of Studio Classroom got up for the early morning event to support Huang and Taitung County Government workers. Huang stated that Taitung is fine now and ready for hot air balloon fans from around Taiwan to come to Taitung.

Typhoon Nepartak hit Taitung on July 8 with Beaufort force-17 winds, breaking a 116-year record and alarming people around Taiwan as to the state of the event venue, the Luye Plateau, which suffered severe damage. Hot air balloon workers decided that all related activities were to stop on July 10 so they could put all their time and effort into working with locals and restoring the face of Taitung City.

At 5:30 a.m. on July 17, over 10,000 hot air balloon lovers made their way onto the Luye Plateau, filling the area. This was quite a surprise for Magistrate Huang and Tourism Department workers. Even 90-year-old Doris Brougham of Studio Classroom made it there to cheer on Magistrate Huang. Huang stated that with the support of the Central Government, government agencies around Taiwan, and local residents, there was no way that Taitung could be stopped. He took the opportunity to announce that Taitung is already back on its feet. The decision to resume the balloon festival was not made until just three days beforehand, so he was shocked to see so many people there. He once again asked all to support Taitung through the practical act of coming as tourists, allowing Taitung to put tragedy in the past, boldly move toward a brighter future, and shine once again with happiness!

Due to the special occasion, the event team arranged for seven specially-shaped balloons to be on display simultaneously (an event record). These balloons were octopus and carp balloons from Japan, a train (Germany), a rocket (Canada), a rooster (Holland), and Noah’s Ark and an aquarium (US). Once all the balloons were filled with air, five of the specially-shaped balloons took off. The crowd went wild as people cheered and took pictures of the historic moment. The Tourism Department stated that a gift from the event service center will be given to guests who go to the Luye Plateau between July 18 and 22, take pictures with two of any of the seven specially-shaped balloons, upload them to the event fan page, and tag five friends.

For more information, please visit the 2016 Taiwan International Balloon Festival website and fan page:
Website: www.balloontaiwan-taitung.com.tw
Fan page: www.facebook.com/balloontaiwan
Phone: 089-346122, 089-348920
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