Balloon enthusiasts were preparing themselves for the 6th Annual Tailwind Regional Balloon Festival in Canton TX scheduled for May 12th & 13th when the unthinkable happened. On April 29th treacherous tornados ripped through Van Zandt County, including the county seat of Canton, TX. With wind speeds nearing 165 mps the damage is unimaginable. In Canton alone, more than 5,000 structures were damaged or destroyed and several lives lost.
The clean-up effort began immediately as crews worked to move trees, ripped from the ground. Electric companies converged on Canton to move downed power lines and restore electricity and many folks looked for loved ones and frightened animals. By daylight on Sunday the realization of the depth of the destruction began to register with the community. By Monday, organizers of the Balloon Festival realized that the Festival simply could not go on as planned.
The Balloon Festival organizers quickly redirected their efforts and decided that in lieu of the tornado disaster and ongoing recovery efforts that Canton needed was a cathartic outlet for the entire community. The event has become a Balloon Fest Tornado Relief Benefit/Community Appreciation Event.
The event is free to all and any donations collected at the event will go the Van Zandt County Tornado Relief Fund 2017. As sponsors of the event we ask that you please participate and show your support for the community by joining us at the fund raiser. The event will be on the west side of the First Monday Grounds and begins at 6pm. with a concert followed by a Balloon glow at 8:30 and a Glow Run at 9:15pm.
If you are unable to attend but would like to support those in need please send your donation payable to: Van Zandt County Tornado Relief Fund 2017 to PO Box 427, Canton TX 75103. If it more convenient for you to drop off checks at our office we will happily ensure that they get to the right place.
For more information about the event visit www.balloonfestcanton.com. Thank you for your support.