SOUTH KINGSTOWN, R.I. (WPRI) — After forty high-flying years, the South County Hot Air Balloon Festival will not continue in 2019, according to the president-elect of the Wakefield Rotary Club, which sponsored the annual event.
The Rotary Club says the decision to end the festival was based on several factors, including spiraling expenses related to performer fees, insurance, field use and security. They also said the event’s weather dependency proved to be a difficulty.
Up until this year, the three-day festival took flight each summer from the University of Rhode Island’s Kingston campus and generated about $40,000 for local charities, according to organizers.
“I would like to acknowledge all of our patrons, volunteers, and everyone who has made donations to support of the event. It was these folks which made our event a success.” Wakefield Rotary Club President-Elect Bob Cruz said.
While the festival is no more, Cruz says the planning committee is working on a new event it hopes to debut in 2020.