Hot Air Ballooning Championship
The Irish Hot Air Ballooning Championship, is usually referred to as ‘The Irish Meet’ and is the longest running National ballooning event in the world. The first event was held in 1971 at Newcastle House in Ballymahon, Co Longford and was attended by only a handful of balloons. Today. Over 40 balloons now take part in this annual event. This year balloonists are coming from all over the world including England, Scotland, Wales, Isle of Man, France, Holland, Italy and the USA. They will spend the last week of September in Waterford City and celebrate the City’s 1100 birthday by launching these ancient aircraft from various locations throughout the City and County.
The Woodlands Hotel is headquarters for the event and also one of the launch locations which happens every morning and evening, subject to weather conditions of course. Other launching locations being considered are The People’s Park, Piltown, Lismore Castle, Carriganore, Carrolls Cross and Waterford Airport. In addition to the various launches, the balloonists plan to have a meet and greet event (location to be confirmed) and provide a spectacular ‘Night Glow’ where they inflate at night to the sound of music.
During the event the crews will travel to local schools to demonstrate the balloons and talk to the school children about the science of ballooning. A number of events are arranged for the balloonists during their stay including a BBQ, a music night, tours of Mount Congrieve and perhaps Lismore Castle. Information on launch and event news will be available on the championships facebook page before and during the event to keep people informed.