Over 25,000 people gathered to watch the colourful launch of almost 90 hot-air balloons in Chateau D'Oex over the weekend.This content was published on January 20, 2002 - 17:42
The take-off from the resort in the Pays d'Enhaut valley marked the start of the 24th international hot-air balloon competition. The event kicked off in perfect meteorological conditions with the inauguration of a giant balloon bearing the Chateau D'Oex colours, which was followed by a multi-coloured parade of balloons in all imaginable shapes.
As in previous years, the event hosts various competitions, the favourite being a long distance race called the David Niven Cup, named after the British actor who lived in Chateau d'Oex. The record of 375 kilometres was set nearly 30 years ago.
Skydivers, hanggliders and paragliders also demonstrated their skills in front of the spectators. Carnival bands and exhibitions provided entertainment for visitors with their feet firmly planted to the ground.
The festival runs until January 27.