This year’s Page Balloon Regatta will take place from Nov. 3 to 6, with the City of Page taking over management of the popular event from the Page Lake Powell Balloon Regatta Committee, which had run the event since its inception nearly 20 years ago.
Last week, the city sent out a statement to “set the record straight” in response to “misinformation” that had been circulating on social media after news broke that the city would be managing the event from this year onward.
“The City of Page has always played a major role in the event and contributed over $25,000 to last year’s event, in addition to countless resources from public safety, golf course, management, advertising and other city staff,” the statement said.
The wrangling over who would run the regatta erupted into the public eye early last week when the Page Lake Powell Balloon Regatta Committee posted on its Facebook page that they had been “denied an event permit by the City of Page.”
“The city is starting their own event,” the committee’s Facebook post said. “This takes away from our efforts to do all the school programs and the ability to award scholarships. We have been so successful for 19 years and are extremely disappointed. We will miss our community and ballooning families.”
The statement from the city, released later in the week, said that the city had “approached the Balloon Regatta Committee to discuss ways of making improvements and working together to ensure the long-term viability of the event.”
“The city asked the committee to continue their involvement in the event, including the education portion with the schools, their logistics, volunteers and scholarship program. The city further offered to help find ways to ensure the financial viability of the committee into the future,” the city’s statement said.
“Instead of engaging in a dialogue with the city about working together, to the city’s dismay, the Balloon Regatta Committee’s leadership abruptly decided that they would no longer participate in the event.”
The city’s statement included a request for any groups or individuals that would like to help with this year's event to contact Kim Larson in the City Clerk’s office.