TAIPEI (Taiwan News) --- Cancellations of outdoor events caused by Taiwan's twin typhoons a week ago led to twin hot air balloon festivals being held this past weekend, with Hsinchu and Taitung both hosting their climatic display of dirigibles over the same time frame.
The hot air balloon festival in Taitung concluded on Aug 6. The 38-day event attracted around 480,000 people, according to Taitung County government.
The festival kicked off on June 30 in Taitung County Museum. Night glow shows took place at different times and locations around Taitung.
All told, the event generated NT$960 million (US$31.79 million) in revenue, an increase of 37.2% compared to last year.
The balloon festival included flying shows, balloon rides and even balloon wedding celebrations.
Taitung's balloon festival, the biggest in Taiwan, this year saw 35 hot air balloons from 13 different countries fly in the sky during the night glow music concert. This is considered a new record in the history of this festival since it started in 2011. .
The event gave the visitors the opportunity to learn about different types of hot air balloons.
According to the Taitung County government, around 40,000 people attended to the night glow closing ceremony on Sunday.
Meanwhile, Hsinchu City also held its own balloon festival from August 5-6 on the 64-hectare Qingqing Grasslands. The festival was originally scheduled to be held from July 29-30 however, due to Typhoon Nesat it was postponed to the weekend of August 5-6.
During a press release, Hsinchu City government explained that the balloons could not go up because of the bad weather conditions.
Since the annual festival provided 550 free tickets, many people arrived the day before so that they could get a free balloon ride the next morning. But the wind was too strong and we must consider safety first, said Hsinchu mayor Lin Zhijian (林智堅).
Luckily, Hsinchu City government had different activities to and performances to entertain the visitors, such as music, games for children and street performers.