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Balloon festival planned for Newbury in July

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A BALLOON festival is to grace the grounds of Newbury Showground this July, to raise money for charitable groups in the district.

The event, being held from Friday, July 17 to 19, will see a mass balloon ascent on the Friday, Saturday and Sunday evenings, weather dependent, and morning flights on Saturday and Sunday.

Live music and a funfair have already been confirmed for the event, while organisers hope to also run a classic car show, community stall zone, food fair and an arts and crafts area.

The event will be free entry, but with a small charge for parking.

Some of the team behind the event also organised the Thatcham Firework Display, which has attracted around 10,000 in the two years it has run.

However, it was widely criticised last year when it was unclear if it would go ahead until it was confirmed at the eleventh hour.

Spokesman for the event, Richard Garvie, said: "At the end of the event, all profits will be donated to local organisations who will be announced soon.

"We already support the Poppy Appeal in Thatcham through the firework display and intend to send further monies to that group through this event.

"Hopefully we can identify another couple of groups that we can help out."

The Newbury Balloons Facebook page has been liked by more than 2,000 people since it was launched two weeks ago. A website is due to be launched shortly.

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