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Festival of Free Flight adds airborne twist to Fourth of July celebrations

July 2, 2014 by

Lakeview’s umpteenth annual Festival of Free Flight draws hang glider and paraglider pilots from all over to the area to catch the breeze, explore open spaces and utilize easily-accessible launch sites.

Promising two days of competitive flying July 4-5, festivities will begin on Thursday, July 3 with pilot registration and a review of launch sites weather, competition rules and no-landing zones. Friday July 4 is when the fun begins, with pilots meeting at the Chamber of Commerce at 9 a.m. for registration and breakfast before departing for Black Cap, Paisley or Abert Rim for a fun day of flying. Competitions planned for Friday include a glider dash race and cumulative cross-country competition for hang gliders and paragliders. Pilots are encouraged to join in the holiday events at the Lake County Fairgrounds, including the Country Showdown and fireworks display.

Saturday, July 5 continues the cumulative cross-country contest, as well as a spot landing contest at Hunters Hot Springs. Flights will begin at noon, with final winners declared at a post-event celebration from 7 to 9 p.m. at Hunters Hot Springs.

Sponsors for the event include Ed’s Fast Break, Green Mountain Bakery, The Polar Bear, Burger Queen, Jerry’s Restaurant, Pioneer Saloon in Paisley, Tall Town Café, Hunan Chinese, the 39er Store, Anderson Engineering & Surveying, Inc., Lakeview Lockers, Benders Promotional Products, Marsha Owen of Paisley and Neil Castleberry of Springfield.

Registration fees are $35, with prizes up for grabs for the top pilots. Packets are available at the Lake County Chamber of Commerce located at 126 N. E St. in Lakeview. For more information please call 541-947-6040.

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