Canowindra International Balloon Challenge will go ahead in 2020 following AGM

The 2020 Canowindra Balloon Challenge will go ahead in April after a successful meeting to discuss its future. Photo: Federation Fotos
The 2020 Canowindra Balloon Challenge will go ahead in April after a successful meeting to discuss its future. Photo: Federation Fotos

The 2020 Canowindra International Balloon Challenge is going ahead and tickets have gone on sale.

"We want to make money for the town, that's what it's all about," Adam Barrow from Canowindra Challenge Incorporated (CCI) said.

The event's future was looking in doubt after lower-than-expected spectator numbers in 2019 left organisers, CCI, with debts of about $60,000.

But in an overwhelming response to the group's annual general meeting on January 23 that was deemed urgent, Mr Barrow was thrilled to announce they can proceed.

About 45-50 people turned out for the AGM at the Canowindra Services Club, which included the presence of Cabonne Council Mayor Kevin Beatty and Services Club president Tom Beath.

Cabonne Council has offered to take on CCI's existing debt and provide its usual annual sponsorship of $20,000, as well as a loan of $20,000 should they need it for 2020 - all subject to approval at council's next meeting.

Mr Beath has also agreed the Canowindra Services Club can provide $20,000 sponsorship towards the event.

"With those two levels of support, we can proceed with the Challenge, it's a great result... The Canowindra Balloon Challenge wouldn't be happening without them," Mr Barrow said.

"We've had a lot of support from Cabonne Council, which is fantastic - the mayor said the council will be supporting the event in every way it can," Mr Barrow said.

"We had declined the council's $50,000 loan because we couldn't do it - maybe in a business you can but not for a community event.

"We're hoping to not touch the $20,000 loan if we can.

"We also appreciate the support of the Services Club - they're a big establishment in town and it's great they're really understanding the need to give back to the community.

"All in all it's positive but there are a million things to do."

The event has been locked in for April 15-19, with the popular Night Glow attraction on the 18th.

Mr Barrow said they have also completely overhauled their ticket prices after receiving feedback from the 2019 event that they were too expensive at $30.

Tickets for 2020 will be $11 for an adult (over 15 years) and a gold coin donation for under 15 years.

CCI originally had plans to charge $10 for tickets but decided to raise it by a dollar on every ticket to donate to a drought relief charity.

"There's been a lot of focus on raising money for the bush fires at the moment and we are still in drought so we've decided to give the money to Aussie Helpers because we know they spend their money in town," Mr Barrow said.