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Airborne again; Hotelier rescues balloon festival.

Byline: RICHARD DOWN

A HOT air balloon festival cancelled due to bad weather has been saved by the boss of a hotel chain.

David Green of Xuberance Events called off this year's Llangollen Hot Air Balloon Festival, despite being the event's saviour himself four years ago.

Yesterday businesswoman Stephanie Booth, owner of a chain of hotels around Llangollen, stepped forward to ensure the festival goes ahead, renamed the Great Llangollen Show and with more attractions.

Stephanie, chair of Llangollen Chamber of Trade and Tourism, said members were acutely aware of the effect the festival's cancellation would have on retail businesses.

The reborn event will be on September 4-5. It will retain the Night Glow hot air balloon display but this year there will also be Mamma Mia dancing, a Have You Got Talent competition, live acts and music and demonstrations of archery, axe throwing, bush-craft, pole dancing and mountain biking.

Stephanie said: "It will be a showcase for the best North Wales has to offer with plenty of free sample tasting of local food and drink.

"This will bring everyone together as the whole community has got involved, as well as traders, the Lions Club, Tidy Towns, Rotary, football team and numerous other community groups."

Ian Parry, clerk to the town council said: "When the Balloon Festival was withdrawn we were very disappointed.

"In the current climate it would have been a significant blow to Llangollen''s economy. We're delighted Stephanie and the LCT&T have taken up the task of filling the void."

Faenol return is music to Bryn's ears IT'S a big year for opera super star Bryn Terfel. Not only is he starring in two operas in Cardiff and New York he is looking forward to this summer's Faenol Festival. The bass baritone said: "I started the festival because I wanted to give something back to the community that nurtured me. "Last year, for the first time in the Festival's history we weren't able to put on the Festival, and the local economy suffered. Yes, this is a busy year for me, but I'm determined to make it happen this year and to secure the event's future. "I'm excited about the new format and content including the Battle of Britain Celebration and the comedy night, but more than anything, I'm delighted to hear people say their hotels, caravan sites and B&Bs are already booking up with Festival goers - it's music to my ears." Gwynedd Council leader Dyfed Edwards said: "This year's Faenol festival is set to be fantastic, yet again.

As we saw with the Radio 1 Big Weekend, Gwynedd is fast developing a reputation as an area with the skills, experience and know-how to successfully host international cultural events and music festivals." A study commissioned by The North Wales Events Commission showed between 2005 and 2007 Faenol Festival contributed just under pounds 3m a year to the local economy.. Tickets from www.faenolfestival.com or the Venue Cymru box office on 01492 872000, Galeri Caernarfon on 01286 685222, Silver Star Holidays on 01286 672333 or Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff Bay on 02920 636464.

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Bryn Terfel Hotelier Stephanie Booth (left) has stepped in to save the Llangollen Hot Air Balloon Festival
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Publication:Daily Post (Liverpool, England)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Jun 19, 2010
Words:536
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