In 2010, eight hot air balloon pilots joined the already growing Christmas in the Ville parade in Fowlerville, Michigan. This event was born out of the ongoing annual Christmas parade which began twenty-five years ago in 1990. As the hot air balloonists' float made its way through the parade route, many people were surprised, amazed, and overwhelmed by the beauty of the flames as the pilots rounded the corner. In fact, though announcer and director, Steve MacDermaid knew we were coming, he was shocked and surprised by what he saw. He saw the pure excitement and joy in the eyes of the crowd and knew we needed to make it an every year event. That night, at the After Glow pilot party, the Rotary Club asked the pilots to join the parade next year and for years to come. The amount of participating pilots has increased to over forty pilots not only Michigan based but some come from other states including Ohio, Indiana and even Florida. Some of these pilots are even world championship competitors. In addition to the float which is made up of twelve trailers that are daisy-chained together over 300 feet long, various warming stations are scattered among the "Ville" to provide more holiday warmth and glow to the town.
Since 2011, hot air balloon flights have also become a part of the day and that event is called Balloons over Christmas in the "Ville". Flights are scheduled for 8:00 am and 2:00 pm, weather permitting with the goal to fly over the Main 4 corners. This year, a flight is scheduled for the morning of December 5 and another is scheduled later in the day in the early afternoon. Near the main 4 corners, two targets will be placed in the DDA lot. The first task will be a tall, candy cane striped pole. The pilots will attempt to fly over and drop a wreath over the top of it. The second task is called the Sno-Ball toss. This competition task is a test for accuracy. The pilots will throw a bio-degradable, artificial "snowball"...Aka toilet paper.. at a "pretty pink" target, which is a toilet. This may seem unique but actually has been a fun target that dates back to the US Nationals in 1971. The hot air balloonists love to be a part of this event. But of course, the most important part of every parade is the arrival of the one and only Santa Claus, and all the pilots are more than happy to give him the spotlight. All in all, this event as it is one of the most fun events we have each year, and we love the way Fowlerville invites us into their homes and hearts. THANK-YOU FOWLERVILLE If you are interested in viewing photos of the hottest parade in the coolest town in America, you can go to our Facebook page entitled Fowlerville "Christmas in the Ville".