An aerial view of Hoegeng Stadium in Pekalongan, Central Java, during the Java Balloon Festival on Wednesday. (Antara Photo/Harviyan Perdana Putra)
Java Balloon Festival Colors the Skies Over Pekalongan
BY :NUR YASMIN & ANTARA PHOTO
JUNE 13, 2019
Thousands of people flocked to Pekalongan in Central Java and Ponorogo in East Java on Wednesday to attend the second annual Java Balloon Festival, presented by the Ministry of Transportation's Directorate General of Air Transportation, air traffic control service AirNav Indonesia and the Pekalongan district government.
"I appreciate and welcome the Java Balloon Festival, this is an effort to preserve culture and to teach the public that the uncontrolled release of hot-air balloons could put flight safety at risk," Nafthan Syahroni, acting head of the Surabaya Airport Authority, said in a press release on Thursday.
The transportation ministry earlier warned pilots to be cautious of unmanned hot-air balloons launched to celebrate Idul Fitri.
Present at the festival opening were Central Java Governor Ganjar Pranowo, Pekalongan Mayor M. Saelany Machfudz, AirNav Indonesia managing director Novie Riyanto Rahardjo and Slamet Prihantono, head of the Pekalongan Transportation Agency.
"The number of participants increased to 107 this year and we are grateful to all parties for their support, especially the Pekalongan district government. This event will hopefully also help to boost the economy of Pekalongan," Novie said in the press release.
Governor Ganjar said the festival was a fun way for people to gather in the atmosphere of Idul Fitri.
"This event is a very good people's party; it attracts tourists to Pekalongan to see balloons patterned in Pekalongan batik. In addition, this event is fun and safe, because each participant complies with the required terms and conditions," he said.
The festival will move to Wonosobo in Central Java on Saturday.