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Jackson's Hot Air Jubilee will take off as scheduled this month

Hot Air Jubilee

Jackson’s Hot Air Jubilee will go on as planned this month.

The city council approved the hot air balloon festival’s permits today. 

The decision had been delayed, after questions were raised over who would pay for police overtime for the event. The festival has agreed to pick up the estimated $3,000 cost.

Phil Whittington is with the Hot Air Jubilee board. He says the festival can hardly afford the added expense.

“We’re five grand in the hole already before we go into the event,” said Whittington. 

Jackson Mayor Martin Griffin says it would be hard for the city to justify spending the money, given that budget problems have already forced police officer layoffs.

“Whoever thought the day would come when you would have to be ordered in for overtime for special events,” Griffin says. “But that’s happening because we’ve had to lay off so many.”

This is the Hot Air Jubilee’s 30th year in Jackson. The event will take place July 20-22  at Jackson’s Ella Sharp Park.

Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Radio since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.