Festival a hit with vendors, public

Published 12:00 am Saturday, October 16, 1999

Hundreds of people swarmed onto the Rosalie festival site Saturday for the second day of the Great Mississippi River Balloon Race.

&uot;It’s going great,&uot; said coordinator Ed Godfrey. &uot;We are having a big time.&uot;

Events began early Saturday with a balloon flight over the river and concluded with a street dance with music by the Krackerjacks.

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&uot;It’s a gorgeous day,&uot; Godfrey said. &uot;It is honestly the hottest (festival) I remember.

The heat may have kept some people away Saturday afternoon, but overall festival turnout is expected to be higher than last year’s, Godfrey said. And the windy conditions that plagued the 1998 balloon race where not a problem Friday or Saturday.

During the Saturday morning race more than 70 balloonists attempted to throw beanbags at targets on the ground.

&uot;Because the wind was so good, (the pilots) were able to do a three-target task,&uot; Godfrey said.

Peter Burns said balloons or no balloons the festival is still a great event. Burns, who crewed for the past 13 races, thinks the beauty of Natchez’s festival site makes the event a success.

&uot;I think that this festival site is one thing here that keeps us growing,&uot; he said.

The festival also includes carnival rides for children. Hal Tobin, part owner of Phoenix Carousel Company said the turnout in Natchez has been wonderful. &uot;It’s going to be one of our top five (locations).&uot; Tobin said. &uot;(And) as far as ambiance this one ranks No. 1.&uot;

The last balloon flights of the weekend will take place at 7 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. today, weather permitting.

The festival site will be open from noon to 6 p.m. with music by various artists.