By Brittany Anderson
Correction: Council Member Ashlee Bradshaw was the only dissenting vote to the event’s cancellation, not Council Member Yvonne Flores-Cale.
Kyle’s Pie in the Sky Hot Air Balloon Festival will not take place this year.
“COVID-19 has impacted nearly every piece of event planning from staffing and volunteers to availability of vendors and supplies,” the city said in a statement released on Aug. 18. “City leadership has also kept a close eye on local COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations and ultimately wanted to avoid contributing to an already strained healthcare system. With the continued increase in active cases in the area, specifically the Delta Variant, the city anticipates these challenges will only continue and become increasingly more difficult.”
The decision was made after council members returned from their executive session at the city council meeting on Aug. 17. Council member Michael Tobias moved to cancel the festival, citing COVID-19 safety and wellbeing concerns for staff and residents. The motion was seconded by council member Robert Rizo. Council member Yvonne Flores-Cale was the only opposing vote.
Refunds will be issued to all vendors and ticket purchasers. The festival is expected to take place again in 2022.