You do not have to wait until the next Star Wars Movie release for the Force to Awaken! The NW Georgia Hot Air Balloon & Aviation Festival has announced that the special shaped balloons of Star Wars icons Darth Vader and Yoda will take to the skies at this summer’s annual festival, June 28-29 2019 at The Richard B Russell Airport in Rome Georgia.

“Everyone has their dark side, mine happens to be 86-feet-tall,” joked Festival Director Jeremy Kwaterski of the eight-story tall, jet black, 3-dimensional balloon shaped like the head of Darth Vader. “Darth Vader is one of the most recognizable characters in movie history and one of the most popular special shapes in the history of the festival, too.”
Approved by Lucasfilm, the villainous Darth Vader hot air balloon was created in 2007 by Benoit and Michel Lambert of Brussels, Belgium to show off their artistic talents as hot air balloonists as well as their love for all things Star Wars. The balloon stands 86 feet tall, is 69 feet wide, 78 feet deep, measures 106,000 cubic feet when fully inflated, and weighs 705 pounds.

Capable of holding two passengers and one pilot — slightly less than an Imperial cruiser or the Millennium Falcon — in addition Kwaterski has also reached out to a galaxy far, far away to bring in the 62-foot-tall, bright green Master Yoda balloon.

A new creation from the Lamberts which only has room for the pilot, Master Yoda will be making his Southern festival debut and the first flight ever in the South during the two-day festival in which upwards of 25,000 people are expected to attend.

The NW Georgia Festival drew in over 18,000 people last year. The NW Georgia Balloon Festival was started in 2008 in Menlo Georgia as a collaboration between John Cavin, Gail Wilbanks and Jeremy Kwaterski to bring ballooning to people who have never seen Hot Air Balloons.


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