The International Balloon Festival of Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, A Vibrant Show Packed with Innovative Presentations

    SAINT-JEAN-SUR-RICHELIEU, QC, June 22 /CNW Telbec/ - The 26th edition of
the International Balloon Festival of Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu will be held
from August 8 to 16. Novelty and variety are the operative words that define
this year's event. People from all over will enjoy a colourful world-wide
collection of hot air balloons, an exciting line-up of shows of international
flavour for young and old alike as well as a collection of brand new games and
activities. Mitsou, eminent spokesperson of the International Balloon
Festival, is pleased to take part once again in this exciting, enchanting
nine-day adventure on the site of the most prestigious family summer festival
that Québec has to offer!

    A Multicoloured Vista

    A hundred or more hot air balloons will take flight in the mornings and
the evenings and spread out over the Richelieu skyscape in a remarkable and
picturesque parade of colour that is sure to please visitors to the region and
residents alike. This year, the Festival will be host to hot air balloon
experts from Brazil, Belgium, France, the United-States and Canada. Among
them, fifteen original and unusually-shaped balloons are sure to please the
thousands of hot air balloon aficionados expected to visit the Festival this
year. Meet Pepe, the amusing skunk head balloon that hails from Brazil, the
first of its kind at the Festival! Both Air Plane Happy, the balloon shaped
like a gigantic aircraft, and Wally, the adorable clown fish, will travel
through the air for the first time in the Montérégie skies. Festivalgoers will
no doubt remember Piko and DAN Le Fou Du Roi, two hometown special shapes,
Pandy the enormous panda and the cute Lady Bug. The Old McDonald's Farm, the
Little Pirate and the impressive Mushroom will join Oggy, the delightful
dragon and Flying Purple People Eater, the zany monster. And who could forget
Lilly and Joey, our bumbling bee twins? Feast your eyes on the eight
magnificent balloons that make up the Flotilla, all parading the colours of
the International Balloon Festival, as they give the send-off for each flight.
Everyone is invited to attend the Magic Nights of the Laurentian Bank on
Tuesday, August 11 and Wednesday, August 12. On these two occasions, the
balloons will be fastened to the ground and magically transformed into
splendid Chinese lanterns: look forward to a lively, rhythmic and exciting
experience. Repeating the success of the last two years, night time balloon
flights will be accompanied by interactive games, contests and entertainment
provided by the team of Chez La Tour on stage across from the launching site.
All those who wish to make their dream come true should reserve a spot for a
flight aboard one of the Festival balloons!

    The Bright Lights of the Stage

    The line-up of this year's shows will be spectacular, without a doubt.
Simple Plan will kick off the first night celebrations with its
world-renowned, pulsating musical display, supported by the up-and-coming New
Cities who will entertain spectators during the first half of this evening's
extravaganza. Later on, the Show du ciel, a gala variety show unique to the
International Balloon Festival, will once again draw the crowds to centre
stage where the likes of Suzie and Annie Villeneuve, Michel Barrette, Peter
Macleod, and Réal Béland will delight us all. The Masters of Ceremony are none
other than the inimitable duo of Dominic and Martin. Later on, American rap
star Flo Rida will launch into some of his promotional tour's best hits,
chosen from his recent album R.O.O.T.S. Veteran of Star Académie, Etienne
Drapeau will headline British sensation Murray Head. The remainder of the
musical line-up is replete with well-known names in the industry such as Kain
playing their inimitable rock'n'folk tunes, and Alexandre Poulin headlining
their performance. And of course, the evening would not be complete without a
bit of dancing: everyone is invited to the floor to sway to the rhythm of
famed West Indian band La Compagnie Créole alongside Lynda Thalie SOBA
prize-winner in the category of "French-speaking album and music of the world
artist of the year". Rock star and crowd pleaser Marie-Mai will also be on
hand to enliven centre stage of the International Balloon Festival headed by
exciting new rock quintet Tailor Made Fable while veteran writer-composer
Pascal Dufour (formerly of Les Respectables) will headline well-known singer
Eric Lapointe. The closing ceremonies will direct the spotlight on brilliant
singer-violinist Alain-François who will head a star-studded evening of
entertainment featuring Mes Aieux. And let us not forget the younger crowd who
is sure enjoy the delightful antics of Annie Brocoli, Shilvi and Arthur

    An Abundance of Activities

    The International Balloon Festival is truly a special family affair
unequalled anywhere else. Witness the vast and plentiful outdoor game areas,
amusement rides and entertainment that dot the vast Festival grounds year
after year. As a special treat, this year, Planète Ballon promises to be the
highlight of the 2009 festivities. It will occupy over five hundred thousand
square feet of space, and stand as the largest structural theme park in the
world packed with installations and air-filled games! Once over the threshold,
a wild and eccentric world awaits you where boundaries are non-existent. In
Planète Ballon, this truly gigantic, magical planet straight out the creative
mind of a boy, we are all invited to climb and slide, and jump and fly! The
Hot Air Balloon Interpretation Centre, interactive and newly renovated, will
meet curiosity seekers' expectations as they visit its new exhibit Viens jouer
dans le Ciel. Visitors will be given the opportunity to see and touch various
components of a hot air balloon while further on, kids will marvel at the
wonders of the ménagerie des Zani-Mots or the creative numbers games at the
Petits + Banque Laurentienne play area. Teens will chill at the sports zone A
vos Marques! where they will meet well-known sports personalities and
professionals. Rest and relaxation describe the Zone détente du Journal de
Montréal where families can picnic or enjoy a game of miniature golf. And let
us not forget a visit to the Promenade des artisans, where Québec artists and
crafts people display their hand-made goods. Then it's on to the handyman's
paradise, the Fabrique des petits aérostiers, a village consisting of 4
eye-catching giant yurts! Young parents who come to the Festival will be
pleased to note that we have designated a special place for all their family's
needs at the Centre de services Jean Coutu. They will have free access to all
the basic requirements for infants and toddlers alike, while visitors to the
Dôme Garnier will enjoy an unforgettable experience in the world of cosmetics.
And at the end of the day, sit down at the Bistro SAQ oasis and enjoy a
relaxing, refreshing drink and while there, take advantage of your front-row
seat at the Festival Show displayed on the Bistro's giant screen!


    Daily rates for a visit to the Festival site, including shows,
entertainment and activities are $15 for adults, and $7 for children 3 to 12
years. There is no charge for infants. The family rate of $37 admits 2 adults
and 2 children. Nine-day passports are also offered at budget price. Until
August 7, special pre-sale adult passport tickets are available for $29 while
children's passports (3 to 12 years) cost $13.

For further information:

For further information: Nathalie Lussier, communications coordinator,
(450) 346-6000/239,; Guillaume Poirier,
communications agent, (450) 346-6000/237,;
Information: International Balloon Festival of Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu

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International Balloon Festival of Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu

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