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50 hot air balloons to be a part of new Festival of Festivals in Kissimmee

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Have you always wanted to see the sky filled with dozens of colorful hot air balloons, but haven’t made it to Albuquerque, or one of the other festivals around the world? Well this fall you’ll be able to see this and more right in Kissimmee during the first Festival of Festivals.

The “Kissimmee Festival of Festivals,” was announced this morning. This three-day event will be highlighted by foot races, hot air balloons, music, arts, food and more. The event has been planned and sponsored by a number of Osceola County-based businesses and organizations, including the Kissimmee Convention and Visitors Bureau, the Kissimmee/Osceola County Chamber of Commerce, Formosa Gardens Village and Orlando Balloon Rides. The festival will be held right in a tourist area of U.S. 192, west of I-4 in an area known as Formosa Gardens.

The event will kick off with an evening 5K and 10k race on Friday, Sept. 21, 2012. During the event, racers will have the opportunity to run alongside hot air balloons and to stay for the first night of the festival.

Bright and early on the morning of Saturday, Sept. 22, approximately 50 different hot air balloons from around the world will take off for a cross-county ride, and viewers will be able to see various shapes, sizes and colors dot the Osceola County skyline. For several hundred visitors, balloon rides will be available if purchased in advance of the event. Simultaneously, two more road races will occur on the morning of the international balloon fest. Throughout the day, weather permitting, both tethered and hot air balloon rides will be offered to festival-goers. Guests will even be able to skydive right into the middle of the festival.

On the main festival grounds, an array of activities will be held each day, including concerts, festival fare and beverages, contests, games and arts and crafts vendors. The festival will begin at 3 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 21 and will conclude at 3 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 23.

“It was our goal from the beginning to attract locals and visitors alike to Osceola County to show them how much this area has to offer,” said George Chen, owner of Formosa Gardens Village and the festival co-creator. “Our goal is simple: Put heads in beds, promote the destination, provide return on investment for our partners and sponsors and nurture and grow the event to become an internationally-known event.”

Jason Schulke, CEO of Orlando Balloon Rides and a festival co-creator, added, “The Festival of Festivals will become a key selling point as we in the industry continue to expand our market around the world. It gives Kissimmee an event that visitors from across the globe will know about.”

Event sponsorships of all levels are available. For sponsorship information, contact Alan Byrd at 407-415-8470 or alan@byrdconnections.com. VIP and travel packages will also be available.

More information about the Festival of Festivals will be available at kissimmeefestival.com.

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