Ken Walter competition flight - Kay's Wind Dancer II
NM – Over 800,000 spectators filled the grounds during the week of the
International Balloon Fiesta to watch 550 balloons lift toward the sky.Albuquerque, New Mexico has been the destination
for the World International Balloon Fiesta since 1972 with representation of
over 22 countries at launch for 2014.Each day was packed with activities including an impressive mass
ascension each morning. This was an
amazing and colorful display of balloons as all lifted off when their assigned
wave was directed for liftoff by coordinators dressed in black and white
outfits designed to resemble ‘zebras.’A
couple of mornings were too strong but the green flag was waving to allow
static display of the balloons creating a colorful field.
Challenge Gas Balloons landed safely with the Spanish Team becoming the
unofficial winner.The team landed
south-southwest of Lebanon, Kentucky.The unofficial second place winner was the Poland team with landing at
Perryville, MO with traveling 941 miles and 46 hours aloft.The America’s Challenge was delayed because
of winds for lifting off from Saturday evening and final launch taking place
early Tuesday morning.
Albuquerque, NM - Jan
Balkedal of Sweden was the recipient of the FAI Ballooning Commission
International Hall of Fame in Albuquerque, New Mexico during the International
Balloon Fiesta.Balkedal has been
involved for over thirty years with the Swedish Balloon Federation and has
competed in 19 of the 20 World Hot Air Balloon Championships.Among his list of professions include a
professional film producer with award-winning film in 1984 “Balloon Ballet.”
Soukup was Master of Ceremonies and accepted on behalf of Umberto Nobile
induction to the Hall of Fame Honor.Nobile of Italy was born January 21, 1885 and died July 30, 1978 in
Rome, Italy.Nobile was notably known
for his airship development and helped design the airship “O” in 1916 for
marine exploration.Nobile helped to develop
a new style of parachute and helped to design a prototype for a helicopter.
Soukup presented Tom Rutherford a plaque for gratitude as a co-founder of the
Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta.Rutherford
flew the first balloon at the fiesta in 1972 that began the start of the World’s
Premier Balloon Event in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
ND – The second year in a row Fargo, ND hosted ESPN’s “College GameDay.”North Dakota State University Bison Fans
packed the downtown Fargo area with nearly 9,000; twice as many that turned out last
year.Last year was the first time that
ESPN hosted “College GameDay” in Fargo.The
Fargo Theatre was the backdrop for the filming of GameDay.The Bison entered the home opener with 27
consecutive wins and now added another win continuing to add to their FCS record-breaking
hosts each Saturday morning during football season with Chris Fowler, Samantha
Ponder, Lee Corso, Kirk Herbstreith, Desmond Howard and David Pollack. North Dakota State University took victory
over Incarnate Word in NCAA Division I FCS football with a score 58-0.The Gate City Bank Field was a completely
sold out with over 19,000 fans.
ND – The night may have turned cold for the evening but that didn’t prevent
over 2,500 people to come out and enjoy the tribute band Hairball.Hairball is a band from Minneapolis,
Minnesota that performs acts from the 1970’s and ‘80’s:KISS, Prince, Aerosmith, Def Leppard, Poison,
Bon Jovi, AC/DC, Motley Crue, Alice Cooper and more.Hairball has been performing for 14 years
across the country. Pyrotechnics are
brought into the mix with technicians that create a mix with smoke, fire,
lights that captures the attention of the fans throughout the performance.
Lakes, Minn. – WE Fest finished the weekend on a high note with Zac Brown Band
performing their heart out for the fans that loved every moment.The strength of Zac Brown with his top-notch
band members showed through as they showcased strong proficiency of their
instruments from the keyboard, fiddle, guitars, percussion and songwriting.
diversity of their style and music performed Saturday night went from country
music to an encore appearance dressed in skeleton costumes playing music from
Pink Floyd’s band.Zac Brown Band ended
the evening with one of their number one hits “Chicken Fried.”They have taken a number of country awards
throughout the years beginning with top new vocal group 2009 and Grammy
for best Country Album “Uncaged” 2012.
Lakes, Minn. – Total coordinated efforts brought the complete performance of
Brad Paisley together to a huge crowd hitting close to 50,000 fans.Paisley had a well-choreographed light show
with video going in the background as he performed his hits.Some videos incorporated skiing, fishing and
with humor asked the fans “are there any lakes around here?” Of course with
Minnesota known for being the land of 10,000 lakes the crowd loved Paisley’s
was the headliner for Friday night at WE Fest and showed the strength of his
technical command of the guitar and vocal from start to finish. His infectious
smile was non-stopped showing Paisley still is having fun performing for fans
that truly love his music and personality.Paisley brought the crowd together with his friendly approach and at one
point in the third song “American Saturday Night,” came to the front lower part
of the stage to take a selfie with a fan.
lineup starting at 2:45:Chris Hawkey,
Thompson Square, Travis Tritt, Brantley Gilbert and headliner Zac Brown Band.
Detroit Lakes, Minn. - Country
music The Band Perry played to fans that packed the open-air grounds of WE
Fest.The band is a family group of
Kimberly Perry, performing as lead vocal, guitar, piano, Neil Perry on
mandolin, drums, background vocal, Reid Perry on bass guitar and background
Energy abounded non-stop the entire show the
moment the three appeared at the top of a built-up platform and the created
atmosphere of lights and smoke started. They performed songs from their albums
with number one singles “DONE,” and “Better Dig Two.”2012 they were awarded Top Vocal Group from
the Academy of Country Music Awards amongst numerous other awards and
nominations throughout the years.
Detroit Lakes, Minnesota - High
energy impacted the stage when Florida Georgia Line duo hit the stage.The filled WE Fest grounds were brought to
their feet embracing the rhythm of Brian Kelley and Tyler Hubbard with songs
from their album “Here’s to the Good Times."Florida Georgia Line was recognized at CMT
Music Awards and won Duo Video of the Year for “Round Here.”
Aldean was the headliner for Thursday evening with a pyrotechnics entrance with
flames shooting high on the back portion of the stage.Aldean ‘Burnin’ It Down” new first single
from an upcoming album was sung as the crowd embraced every moment that Aldean
was on the stage.‘Burnin’ It Down” was
produced by Michael Knox,Aldean’s producer
Michael Knox and written by Chris Tompkins, Rodney Clawson and Florida Georgia
Line’s Brian Kelley and Tyler Hubbard.Aldean
received ACM Awards ‘Male Vocalist of the Year’ 2014.
lineup:Maiden Dixie, Chris Janson,
Randy Houser, The Band Perry and Brad Paisley – all on the main stage.Chris Janson at 12:30 am at the Barn Stage.
Walker, Minnesota - All factors came together for a perfect weekend at
Moondance Jam with a full lineup and over twenty-six thousand jammers plus a
large influx of campers on the grounds.Walker,
Minnesota has become a destination for rocking fans that already started making
plans for 2015 at local lodging area before checking out.Moondance Jam has kept the open area to allow
lawn chairs for those that want to sit back and enjoy the music as well as allowing
fans to walk up to the stage area and embrace the music.Tribute to Bill Bieloh and a Tribute to the
Troops has become a tradition of the Moondance Jam weekend.Bill Bieloh was a founder of the Moondance
Jam along with his wife Kathy.Kathy has
continued the strength and growth of Moondance Jam going forward after Bill
performed on the main stage with regional bands at the Saloon Stage, Tiki Bar
Stage and Lazy Moon Acoustic Stage accounting for nearly fifty bands.The teamwork and experienced personnel made
the weekend go off seamlessly.
ND - Thursday arrival at the Fargo Air Museum was a step back in the history of
WWII for all to see.The B-17 “Flying
Fortress,” B-24 “Liberator” bomber and the P-51 “Mustang” fighter made a
powerful entrance into Fargo as they landed for the 4th of July weekend for the
public to view and even capture a chance to ride.
Harley and Don Winden were in the cockpit of the B-24 Liberator as the plane
arrived at the airport.Both Harley and
Winden had family members that served in WWII with Winden’s father and uncle
who even had a history with the B-24 Liberator.
There were 18,000 B-24 Liberators built between
1941-1945 with this one that flew into the Fargo Air Museum being the only one
that still is flying.The use of the
Davis wing gave the pilots at that time a way to fly faster as they flew
through all different theatres such as the Pacific, Italy and Africa with a
crew of 10.The Collins Foundation that
sponsors these tours is a non-profit educational organization dedicated to
living history events.If anyone has
ever wondered what a flight could be like this would be the time to go to the
Fargo Air Museum and purchase a chance to fly; flights are $450 and the P-51 is
available for more.
Lakes, MN – WE Fest is one of the oldest and largest country western music
festivals in the country.Fan base
continues to grow with over 30 years of country music festival history at WE
Fest.The expected crowd of over 49,000
will start filling the groomed campgrounds August 5th.Early bird arrivers to the campground will
start with an early bird camping party followed by a kick off party August 6th
at the barn stage.
MN – A temperamental weather pattern gave way to a large double rainbow over
the main arena as Moondance jammin Country Fest was in full swing with a packed
arena of fans.Friday went off like
clockwork with the well-defined organization that Moondance has been noted
for.Entertainers began with Dallas
Smith, Jon Pardi, Rodney Atkins and Justin Moore.Saturday will be filled with performances by
Lost Highway, Sarah Darling, Joe Nichols and Hunter Hayes.
New York – President Obama landed in New York on Air
Force One and was immediately greeted by a small group of people before
boarding Marine One to attend two fundraisers.Along the route Obama made a brief stop at a Gap store to shop for his
wife, Michelle and daughters Malia and Sasha.Gap Inc. is a business that responded to Obama’s request at the State of
the Union address to increase wages.
New York - Passion
and excitement filled the press conference room at the Sheraton Hotel in Manhattan
for the upcoming Friday night 15th Annual Super Bowl Gospel
Celebration.Rev. Jesse Jackson gave the
opening prayer of thanks to the players and talked about that there will be no
losers with players that give of their talents.St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital will be the recipient of the
- Times Square may have had freezing temperatures but that didn’t stop over a
million people from ringing in the New Year.Miley Cyrus helped to ring in 2014 with a gold-sequined two-piece and a full-length
white fur coat.Midnight countdown was
lead by Justice Sonia Sotomayor as the 2,688 pieces in a triangle shape
Waterford Crystal ball dropped.Anderson
Cooper and Kathy Griffin hosted the evening for the seventh year in a row.