DeMille’s to launch hot air balloon event

Shuswap business owner hopes to grow annual festival

The DeMille’s Farm Market inaugural hot air balloon festival may be start off small, but Brad DeMille has high hopes for the event.

“It’s a festival of one balloon. Does that make it a festival? I guess it might,” laughs DeMille, whose inspiration to host the May 27 event comes from the annual balloon festival in his former hometown of Snowmass, Colorado.

“I thought of it a number of years ago and I finally was able to put it together with a guy out of Kelowna, Okanagan Ballooning, and he had some time open on that 27th weekend, on the Sunday morning. It will be fun…,” said DeMille. “I just thought it would be a fun idea because nobody has done it before.”

Limited rides of 15 minutes each are available between 9 a.m. and noon on the tethered balloon, and include photos and video taken by a professional drone operator. DeMille said remaining spots are selling quickly. But people don’t have to ride in the balloon to appreciate it.

“It’s pretty cool, and the noise, that propane blowing up that massive 10-storey tall balloon, I mean, you’re going to see this from the road and you’re going to go, holy…, I’ve got to go in there and see this thing,” said DeMille. “And when was the last time you said that, right?”

While it may only be one balloon to start with, DeMille is optimistic the event will take flight.

“’It’s a lot like my (outdoor ice) rink – we thought of it one day and then the next day we started building it,” said DeMille. “So far, we’ve had two highly successful years and I just found a used Zamboni… I’m going to rebuild it this summer and have some sponsors.”

For more information about the festival, visit To book a ride, call 250-832-7550.


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