Leon, Guanajuato.- The ninth edition of the International Hot-Air Balloon Festival was held on November 19 – 22 in Leon, Guanajuato. With the participation of balloon pilots from Argentina, Belgium, Canada, Colombia, Chile, England, Germany, Sweden, Spain, Switzerland, United States and Mexico. The Festival was again a huge success, commanded by Escandra Salim Alle. Leon Guanajuato’s sky was filled with two hundred balloons dressed in colors that commemorated 200 years since its inception.
How did it Start?
The brothers Joseph-Michel and Jacques–Étienne Montgolfier (born in Annonay, France) were the first people who made a paper balloon. Using a lighter gas than the air, they could make the balloon rise, even during the first attempt until 500 meters. They had consequently, created the hot-air balloon!
In 1783, the brothers Montglolfier presented a demonstration of their “flyer device” at Palace of Versailles. They hung a basket from the bottom of the balloon and put into a sheep, a duck and a cock. These were the first passengers of the story of hot-air balloons ever.
The first flight with human beings took place the same year (1783) and the intrepid men were Pilâtre de Rozier and the Marquis of Arlandes who rose until1,000 meters of height, with 25 minutes of duration of their flight and covering 10 kilometers. The balloon made by the brothers Montgolfier had a wicker basket where they put a firewood oven on in order to maintain the air always hot inside the balloon.
The origins of the ballooning in Mexico date back to February 26th 1842, when Don Benito Leon Acosta and Rubi de Celis (born in Guanajuato City), took off a balloon made by himself in his natal town. Thinking of landing in Dolores Hidalgo, Leon Acosta was forced to change the route to get to Rio Verde, in the State of San Luis Potosi, achieving an adventure never seen before.
Don Benito Leon Acosta and Rubi de Celis, proudly from Guanajuato City, became a national hero, writing his name on the history as the first Mexican aeronaut.
World Class Festival
The International Hot Air Balloon Festival has counted –from its beginnings- on the collaboration of world well known balloonists and also on the acceptance of enthusiastic visitors. Thanks to them and to the commitment of a proficient team, the Festival has always been a forceful success from that “December 2002” when we celebrated its first edition. From the first version through 2009, the event has experienced a 600% growth, becoming the ballooning event with more development on a world basis.
The eighth International Hot-Air Balloon Festival of Leon, Guanajuato was generating in 2009 an economic flow of one hundred and fifty million dollars for the State of Guanajuato, including 100% of hotel occupancy and over 3,500 direct jobs.
For more information visit: www.festivaldelglobo.com.mx