Thousands Throng Labuan Square For Hot Balloon Fiesta

LABUAN: More than 10, 000 local and foreign visitors hot air balloon enthusiasts filled the Labuan Square here in conjunction with the Labuan Big Show (LABS) featuring the first ever hot air balloon fiesta kicked-off on Friday.

The three-day fiesta ended today saw three hot air balloon soaring up in the air.

According to Bernama’s report today, apart from the hot air balloon, the festival also features other activities such as sales booth and fun ride and run coordinated by JHK Events, Kids Mini Theme Park, cold inflation walk in the balloon, walk hunt, arts and cultural exhibition, Tang Lung parade, food fest and food Truck and pocket shows among others.

Labuan Member of Parliament Datuk Rozman Isli in his opening speech said the fiesta should be an annual event in the Labuan’s tourism calendar of events.

“This programme can be another tourism product to lure in visitors,” he added.

Alan Jeraini said it was his first time flying in a hot air balloon and was thrilled with the experience.

“It is a different kind of feeling to fly in the basket over the buildings as well as among other balloons.

“I am proud that such an event is taking place here to give a chance for the locals to see and experience hot air balloon festivals themselves, instead of just reading about such festivals in other countries,” he said.

An oil and gas transit operation engineer from Canada, Logan Felix, 32, said the hot air balloon fiesta always had its own unique appeal, no matter where it was organised, because of its background and scenery.

“It was fabulous…I have seen this kind of occasions in Putrajaya and Australia, the feeling and excitement is different in different places,” he said.

“I’m not really frustrated, the queue is long though. But it was still worth it to hang out with my friends and try other attractions here,” he said

“As a Labuanite, I feel proud because it is not everyday you can see hot air balloons in our own backyard. We normally see such things only on TV…we are delighted to have had an opportunity to fly the skies, although for a short period,” Siti Farizah Yussof said.

The Labuan Big Show is supported by the Labuan Corporation, Yayasan Pembangunan Labuan, Malindo Air, Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Veterinary Services Department Labuan, Majlis Belia Labuan, Kelab Usahawan Muda, Labuan Society and JHK Events.