Balloon flights delight community

| June 10, 2013
Balloonist Debby Young lifts into the sky during the Saturday evening, June 8 launch from the fairgrounds. (Beacon photo by Mark Fortune)

Balloonist Debby Young lifts into the sky during the Saturday evening, June 8 launch from the fairgrounds. (Beacon photo by Mark Fortune)

Article by Courtney Crown and Mark Fortune

COSHOCTON – Soaring high in the sky with their sponsors was the hope of the 19 balloon pilots at Friday night’s scheduled balloon launch at the Coshocton County Fairgrounds.  Unfortunately the inclement weather prevented the balloons from going up, but ballooner Debby Young got to fly on Saturday and Sunday.

Young has flown hot air balloons since 1998.  She flies all over the country and even in parts of Mexico.  She fell in love with ballooning after taking trips to festivals in Albuquerque, N.M. to visit her brother.  At the shows, she took pictures of the hundreds of balloons and was mesmerized by what she saw.

Her career in ballooning began in 1993 when she took on the role of a scorekeeper after finding out that there was ballooning in Ohio.  She was invited to keep score in Coshocton in 1993 and got her first balloon five years later.

Young is flying her balloon named Heart Throb, sponsored by Decosky Ford, at this year’s festival.  She enjoys coming to little communities like Coshocton to meet new people.

“We make friends wherever we go,” Young said.  “It’s always great to make new friends and to share this sport with other people.”

She said she loves seeing everyone get excited about seeing the balloons, especially those who are riding for the first time.

“Any flight that I have where I have passengers that are as excited about it as I am then that’s a good flight,” Young said.

Chris Werley, who was the key initiator of the Coshocton Hot Air Balloon Festival many years ago, came back for a special visit during this year’s festival. Werley received applause at the pilot’s briefing. When asked about the thirty second annual event he said, “It’s amazing. It takes a lot of work and a lot of tenacity by the local people to keep something going this long.”

Werley said the inspiration for having a festival was, “The lumber company (Coshocton Lumber Company) had Bob Zenella come in for a homeshow one spring and I thought, “That’s pretty neat.” I went to Aurora for a race and I went up – it rained all weekend so no balloon race. I went to another one, same thing. I started taking flying lessons and thought, why not have a balloon race myself. I called Phil Wagner, Main Office Supply, Dr. Smith and two or three places and I had people saying “yes”. So I kept going and it’s been going ever since.”

The Coshocton Hot Air Balloon Festival is now in the books. The people in our community that make this event possible deserve our appreciation beyond measure. The committee members that devote hours and hours of volunteer time to make the event possible, the balloon sponsors, the entertainment sponsors (it was awesome!) the Coshocton County Chamber of Commerce and The Frontier Power Company, whose major sponsorship makes the event possible. Thank you!

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Category: Arts & Entertainment, People & Places, Photo Galleries

About the Author ()

I live with my beautiful wife Nancy on a small farm just outside Coshocton. We have been married for thirty two years and have two grown children, Jessica and Jacob. Jessica is married to Aaron Mencer and they are employed with Coshocton City Schools. Jacob is a sophomore at Kent State University. I graduated from River View High School, have a Bachelor’s Degree from North Carolina Wesleyan University and am actively involved with the Roscoe United Methodist Church, serve on several local committees and am a member of the Coshocton Kiwanis Club, having served as Past-President. I love reading, especially military thrillers, the Civil War and history in general. My goal is to write a novel. My wife and I are also AdvoCare distributors and encourage anyone wanting to lose weight, gain energy and better health to explore AdvoCare at our website; www.fortunes4advocare.com. I love the media field, innovative technology and have worked in newspapers for over 30 years – in fact, my first job was delivering newspapers. The Beacon is a dream made possible by the support of this community and a great team. I hope to continue serving Coshocton County for many years.

Comments (1)

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  1. I really like the article. That was so nice of them to give you credit for an amazing job of getting this started so everyone could enjoy this sport in your home town. Great picture!