Guilford couple first to buy Balloon Festival tickets

By Bill Pearson
Staff Writer

    DOVER-FOXCROFT — Stubby and Nena Schultz were the first couple to jump at the chance to go up, up, and away in a beautiful balloon in the Balloon Festival Committee’s first annual event to be held this weekend. The Schultz’s bought the first tickets selling for $225 a piece from their son-in-law, Brian Woodworth, who is a committee member. When Stubby Schultz heard his son-in-law talk about the community event being held on May 31, June 1 and 2, he immediately made his intentions known.

ne-ballonrides-dc-color-po-22Observer photo/Bill Pearson 

    UP, UP AND AWAY — Stubby and Nena Schultz were the first couple to purchase tickets for the first Balloon Festival in Dover-Foxcroft. The Schultzes will be taking their hot air balloon ride at 6 p.m. on Saturday. Stubby Schultz said the ride is something that’s been on his bucket list for years.

    “Sign me up,” he told Woodworth as he went upstairs to get his checkbook. “This is one of the things that’s been on my bucket list for years.”
    An adventure high above the ground is nothing new for Stubby Schultz. He has zip-lined twice in his life. Once in New Hampshire and the other time in Costa Rica. But for his wife, Nena, the hot air balloon ride is a whole new experience. Especially for someone who is not comfortable being at a high altitude.
    “I’m scared of heights, but the thought of going up in a hot-air balloon is really exciting,” Nena said. “I’m really looking afford to this.”
    The balloon festival is a three-day event organized by members of the Piscataquis Chamber of Commerce and the Dover-Foxcroft Kiwanis Club. The two organizations provided the committee with $2,500 each for seed money to organize the event. The committee is comprised of volunteers from each of the civic organizations who wanted to create an ongoing community event drawing people to the area.
    “We wanted to make Dover-Foxcroft a destination,” said Chamber President Sherri French. “We’ve got three days of events planned which will bring business and activity here. The balloon festival is something new and unique which will bring people here and stimulate the economy.”
    The festival has attracted 10 hot-air balloon operators to provide their services during the event. On Friday morning, the festival will be preceded by an educational event held on the Foxcroft Academy football field.
    The festival will begin at 4 p.m. with rides given until 6 p.m. The festival will also include tradesmen, vendors, artisans selling their wares until 9 p.m. WKIT-FM in Bangor is also planning to do a live broadcast Friday morning.
    Besides the rides, another major festival attraction will be the balloon glow. All 10 of the balloons will line up at the day’s end on Friday and fire off at the same time.
    “They’ll all be lined up along the runaway, and when they fire, it will look just like stained glass,” French said.
    The committee has 128 tickets available. So far, they have sold 58 at $225 per ticket for the estimated one-hour balloon ride over Dover-Foxcroft. The ride will take the passengers in whatever direction the wind blows. During the festival, available tickets will be sold for $250 apiece.
    While Stubby Schultz enjoys the exhilaration of zip-lining, the leisurely ride in a hot-air balloon is equally appealing to him. He looks forward to having a chance to take a long look of the view from high above the ground.
    “Zip-lining is a lot of fun, but you’re going so fast you don’t get a chance to see anything,” he said. “Being high above the ground we are going to see view that we’ve never seen before.”
    The festival will be held all three days at the Charles Chase Jr. Memorial Field at the Dover-Foxcroft airport. The balloon rides begin at 4 p.m. on Friday and at 11 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday.

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