Thousands Head to Downtown Howell For Annual Balloonfest - WLNS TV 6 Lansing - Jackson | Your Local News Leader

Thousands Head to Downtown Howell For Annual Balloonfest

HOWELL, Mich. (WLNS) -- The 29th annual "Michigan Challenge Balloonfest" wrapped up Sunday evening, capping off another year of high-flying fun.

Organizers said they expected over 100,000 people to show up to the annual event, making for a weekend full of fun and entertainment, and bringing business to downtown Howell.

"I would say we have about double the amount of people," said Karen Wing, owner of Heart of Michigan.

"I'd probably say we serve twice as many people during Balloonfest compared to other weekends," said Luigi Pecaj, owner of Mark's Midtown Coney.

Some spectators and participants even made the journey from across the country, like this year's "Michigan Challenge Balloonfest" winner, Patrick Fogue, from Columbia, Missouri.

"I've competed in Michigan a lot and Michigan in the summer is the best," Fogue said.

That's why he, like many others, traveled hours to experience the beauty and excitement of the annual affair.

"When the balloons take to the air, your spirits just go with them," said Pat Convery, Howell Area Chamber of Commerce President.

An event, many describe with just one word, magical.

"It's really magical," said Fogue.

"It's just magical," said Convery.

Organizers, fans and business owners all say they're already looking forward to next year's 30th annual Michigan Challenge.

For more information visit the event's website.

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