Grants Pass Balloon & Kite Festival may not launch; in need of more volunteers

(KTVL/Mike Marut)

Last year, the Grants Pass Balloon and Kite Festival was a huge success over the three day event.

It was the first time the event had been put on in years. This year, the festival is in danger of not happening at all because the Rotary Club (the group that sponsors the event) does not have enough volunteers to operate all 11 shifts over the June 1st through 3rd weekend.

In fact, the event is 40 volunteers short - at minimum.

"It's a skeleton crew to fill all 11 shifts - that's the morning launches and the festival sites - 140 people," Caleb LaPlante, founder of the Grants Pass Balloon & Kite Festival, said. "Over the weekend we had some exposure on this need and I think we're over 100 but we're not there yet."

The group needs at least 140 volunteers for the event to continue but would, ideally, like to have about 200 volunteers over the weekend to make everything comfortable.

"On Monday the 28th [Memorial Day], we're going to review where we're at with the volunteers," LaPlante said. "The hard truth is we can't put on a festival without the support to make a good experience for the public when they come."

Depending on what shift a volunteer works and what their job is, there will be trainings happening this coming weekend. One volunteer who trained last week to be a balloon chaser loved it.

"It was a blast," Hannah Green said. "If anybody wants to do it, I would say do it because you'll learn a lot and it's a lot of fun. The people are friendly and helpful and it's just a neat community to be a part with. [sic]"

To volunteer for the event, check out their website.

Check out the video below to get a taste of the balloon launch from last year.

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