By Adam Brazeau
CORNWALL, Ontario - Cornwall's premier event, Lift-Off, kicked off Thursday with a mix of new talent and old favourites.
Lamoureux Park was home to a free concert attended by thousands to kick off the annual festival's first of four wall-to-wall days of live music, indulgent vendor fare, and hot air balloon rides, with a large midway, kids' fun zone, and beer garden.
Music festivities were ignited at 4:30 p.m. by local five-piece 'seasoned to the max' rock band Street Road. Then, Cornwall's four-piece tribute act Lost Boyz took Lift-Off deep into the heart of the 80s. With perfect timing, 90s rockers and Cornwall/Ottawa natives Barstool Prophets fired up the crowd. Their set set the stage ablaze.
The evening's headlining act Glass Tiger had the crowd roaring as they sang along to the their hits of yesteryears like Don't Forget Me - When I'm Gone and fresh cuts off their 2012 album, Then, Now, Next such as My Song.
The 20th anniversary of Ontario's only annual hot air balloon festival runs from Thursday, July 10 to Sunday, July 13.
Weekend concert passes are only 25$. Day passes are 15$.
For more information about the festival, visit liftoff.ca.
Lift-Off features 25 hot air balloons, flying each morning and evening at approximately 6:30 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. The launch spot is located at Cornwall's RCAFA Wing 424 on Water Street. If the event is overshadowed by poor weather and heavy winds the alternate site is located at the soccer field in St. Andrews, south of the church.
A free ride to and from the church will be provided by Delaney Bus lines; first come, first served.
A very popular children’s carnival also operates throughout the day and evening during the entire festival.
The Lift-Off Carnival features a Loonie-Toonie Day where all rides are either a loonie or a toonie, as well as a One Price Bracelet Day for unlimited rides.