Hot air balloons rides from Bristol to Brazil can be extremely awe-inspiring, and one lucky girl from Merrickville, Ontario, got to experience the thrill of sitting in one for herself after winning a colouring contest.
Andréanne Lavoie, who is six and attends the of École Sainte-Marguerite-Bourgeoys (ESMB) school in the Canadian province, was awarded one of four prizes in a colouring competition that was run by the Gatineau Hot Air balloon Festival. As a result, a balloon made a visit to the school and, although she could not take a ride in it due to poor weather conditions, Andréanne was able to sit inside the cold air-inflated envelope and experience some of the magic for herself.
Speaking to Inside Ottawa Valley, contest organiser Marilou Mathieu-Lemay commented:
“We really wanted to take someone who was five or six years old, because a lot of teachers asked or e-mailed me if it was worth it if [the younger students] participated, because they do not have super drawings, but we thought it was important to choose one of them. It’s really colourful and original, so we picked that one.”
The arrival of the hot air balloon at ESMB reportedly caused much excitement amongst pupils, especially since it was the first time that one of its students had ever won the contest, which was celebrating its tenth anniversary. It was also the first time that the contest’s winners were able to be given hot air balloon rides as part of the prize.