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Weddings in Thailand

“Viva in the Air” Hot Air Balloon Weddings Record Attempt

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Lars Magnusson, eTN Chiang Mai  Feb 26, 2008

Two major events will happen in Chiang Mai, Northern Thailand, from 7th- 9th March 2008 - a mass hot air balloon betrothal , and an "International Heritage Festival"

Just after dawn on Saturday morning 8th March, 16 hot balloons will lift fourteen couples, plus members of the press and media, high above the city. A registrar in each balloon will conduct an official wedding ceremony in the sky. The record-breaking “Weddings in the Air” attempt, to be certified by “Ripley’s, Believe it or Not” is expected to draw a large number of media representatives and spectators, turn thousands of heads skywards, and probably bring early morning traffic to a halt. As a warm up, there will be early morning untethered balloon launches over the city on the 5th and 6th March.

The international festival will begin on 7th March 2008 in the grounds of the Lanna Polytechnical College. Marching bands, more launches of untethered balloons, colourful trading booths, and a classic cars display will form the backdrop for an unusual Festival created by members of the foreign community featuring attractive displays and native products, plus amateur performances of song, dance, and other forms of entertainment reflecting their homeland. Countries represented will include Austria, China, Germany, Hungary, India, Israel, Italy, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Nepal, Norway, Philippines, Puerto Rico, Switzerland, Tahiti, Thailand, Turkey, Uganda, UK, USA, & Vietnam. Visitors to the festival will therefore enjoy a global presentation of traditions, national dress, music, handicrafts, and cuisine in an ambiance designed to engender goodwill between nations, increase trade, and boost tourism.

Added to this will be a large variety of local sights and sounds, including some of Thailand’s top showbiz personalities, spectacular parades, and concerts by first-class performers. To top it all, there will be hot air balloon “Night Glows” and fireworks synchronized with music.

The desirability of holding an international festival in Chiang Mai had been talked about for many years, but until now had come to nothing. Combining it with a destination wedding in hot air balloons, plus a record attempt gives it a particularly interesting profile. The idea of inviting resident foreigners to participate and become 'founders' or 'pioneers' of the festival adds greatly to the novelty, and will establish the historic city (founded in 1296) as a destination to watch for innovative future events.

Both the Balloon Weddings and the Festival are sponsored by Krungthai Card Public Company Limited and MasterCard, plus Master Car, Centara Duang Tawan Hotel, Mandarin Dhara Devi Hotel, and Samsung, in association with the Tourism Authority of Thailand, and Chiang Mai Province.

The organiser is Earth Wind & Fire Co. Ltd., the first and longest-established hot air balloon operator in Thailand, which is committed to showcasing the Lanna Thai capital as the vibrant cosmopolitan city it has become in recent years. The company plans to make the festival a major annual event.

Web sites for more information:

“Viva in the Air” Hot Air Balloon Weddings Record Attempt

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