Wednesday, April 7, 2010

The Enjoyment of Experience

5 April 2010

Photo & Written by
Melati Ibrahim

The second Putrajaya hot air balloons fiesta was held on 18 to 21 March 2010 at the Monumen Alaf baru in Precinct 2. The objectives of this festival is to create a multi racial or cultural event that promotes unity, with the theme of “one world, one Malaysia and one fiesta, to brand Putrajaya as a hot air balloon fiesta destination, to encourage the people to think Putrajaya, think hot air balloons, to attract more participants, fans or spectators and media to prove yet again that the fiesta is a “must go” event in Putrajaya.

The Putrajaya International Hot Air Balloon Fiesta 2010 was featured attention designs like the Darth Vader and Orange design from Belgium, which are among the 23 hot air balloons from 12 countries that was adorn the sky over Putrajaya.

The Balloon Fun Fly is where all the hot air balloons, including the interesting shaped balloons such as the Bunch of Balloons and The Heart Shapes Balloon, took flight one by one and filled the skies of Putrajaya with magnificent colours.

Bunch of Balloons

Heart Shapes Balloon

This event was a major success in attracting spectators accumulating to more than a 150,000 turn out throughout the 4 days fiesta. International Hot Air Balloon pilots from Japan, Switzerland, USA, Belgium, New Zealand, France and the Netherlands participated in the inaugural event are intrigued by the beauty of Malaysia and vowed to return to explore Malaysia more.

The main organizer is The Putrajaya Corporation (Ppj) was provided five hot air balloons to conduct a tethered ride that was float above ground for 20m for the public. It costs RM10 for adults and RM5 for children.

Besides that, from the balloon ride, there are other activities such as a remote controlled aircraft display, paramotor showcase, helicopter rides, water ball and sphere rides, colouring competition, photography competition, and auto show.

The interesting part of this event was a night-glow display when the balloons glowed like light bulbs, giving a spectacular display of illuminated lights in the sky followed by a fireworks display and the marching band.

Marching Band

It was also a field day for photography enthusiasts who took the opportunity to snap the sights in the air and the ongoing side programmed. Experience and photographs taken during the fiesta are proudly posted in their respective websites and blogs that would indirectly promote Malaysia. The fiesta also caught the attention of the local as well as the international media and photographers. Photograph taken during the fiesta spread through the internet that indirectly promotes Malaysia globally. The uniqueness and rarity of hot air balloons flying in our country has attracted the crowd regardless of their race, age, profession or gender.

In line with our Prime Minister’s One Malaysia campaign, the fiesta would be the perfect avenue in promoting national unity, As proven in the inaugural fiesta, it could be seen that the fiesta attracts everyone regardless of their nationality, race, age and occupations. One World, Balloonist form around the world was participated in this fiesta. It is attract an international tourist to Putrajaya. One Fiesta, hot air balloons being the highlight of the event, there are also have many activities and entertainment that is conductive for all ages.On the fiesta, Rosmah said it succeeded in bringing together Malaysians from various levels of society in line with the concept of 1Malaysia as espoused by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak and it also showcased the cultures of various participating countries.

Besides that, she said, the event also dispelled the perception that it was a dangerous activity and not suitable as family recreation.

"I hope this event can be held in coming years and the organizers need to plan on added value to make the event a much awaited one and draw more participants from countries which had long excelled in hot-air ballons.

"I also hope that the Tourism Ministry and the Tourism Development Board will provide support to promote the event and make it a permanent feature on the annual tourism calendar," Rosmah said.

This event was achieved the vision to create a multi racial or cultural event that promotes unity, to brand Putrajaya as a hot air balloon fiesta destination, to attract more participants and media, to create more family friendly event and to turn it into a prestigious yearly event.

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