A colorful collection of hot air balloons before takeoff. Source: Vaud
This January marks the 37th anniversary of Switzerland’s International Hot Air Balloon week held in Château-d’Oex. Organizers report that over 80 hot air balloons from 20 countries will participate in the event, which lasts from January 24, 2015 through early February.
The International Hot Air Balloon festival got its start in 1979, when 12 balloons from five countries gathered to promote Château-d’Oex at the suggestion of Hans Brücker. The festival grew over the years, and in 1999, the first hot air balloon to navigate around the globe without stopping left from Château-d’Oex. These days the festival hosts a number of special events and contests, drawing balloonists from all over the world. The festivities include a children’s-themed day, contests, Special Shape balloons and a night show with fireworks and music.