LABUAN (Bernama) – Over 10, 000 local and foreign hot air balloon enthusiasts filled Labuan Square yesterday in conjunction with the Labuan Big Show (LABS), featuring the first ever hot air balloon fiesta that kicked off last Friday.
The three-day fiesta which ended yesterday saw three hot air balloons soaring in the skies.
Apart from the hot air balloons, the festival also featured other activities such as sales booths, fun ride and run coordinated by JHK Events, Kids Mini Theme Park, cold inflation walk in balloon, walk hunt, arts and cultural exhibition, lantern parade, food fest and food trucks, and pocket shows, among others.
Labuan Member of Parliament Datuk Rozman Isli in his opening speech said the fiesta should be an annual affair in the island’s tourism calendar of events.
“This event can be another tourism product to lure visitors,” he added.
One of the visitors, Alan Jeraini said it was his first time flying in a hot air balloon and was thrilled with the experience.
“It is a different kind of feeling to fly in the big basket over the buildings and among other balloons.
“I am so glad and excited such an event is happening here to give an opportunity for the locals to see and experience a hot air balloon festival, instead of just reading about such festivals in other countries,” he said.
An oil and gas transit operations engineer from Canada, Logan Felix, 32, said a hot air balloon fiesta always had its own unique appeal, no matter where it was organised because of its background and scenery.
“It is amazing and fabulous. I have seen this kind of occasions in Putrajaya and Australia, but the feeling and excitement is different in different places.
“Although the queue was long, it was worth the wait, besides I get to hang out with friends and try other attractions here,” he said.
“As a local, I feel proud that this event is being held here. It is not everyday you get to see hot air balloons soaring over our landscape….we usually see such things only on YouTube and television. We are delighted to have had an opportunity to fly the skies, although for a short while,” said Siti Farizah Yussof.
The holding of the Labuan Big Show was supported by Labuan Corporation, Labuan Development Foundation, Malindo Air, Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Labuan Veterinary Services Department, Labuan Youth Council, Kelab Usahawan Muda, Labuan Society and JHK Events.