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Eyes to the Skies Festival in Lisle ‘Disbanding' After 2 Years of COVID Cancelations

Lisle’s annual Eyes to the Skies hot air balloon festival is ending after more than 10 years in existence and two years of cancelations because of the coronavirus pandemic. “The Eyes to the Skies Festival will be disbanding,” fest organizers said in a statement posted to Facebook, “due to a lack of interest and support from community members and a decreasing number of available volunteers who are able to meet the time commitment of running the 3-4 day event.” In its place, the village of Lisle and Lisle Park District are working on a “new, smaller event to celebrate the 4th of July holiday,” organizers wrote. The volunteer-run festival, started in 2009 to raise money for local charities, was known for launching big, colorful hot air balloons into the sky and hosting a festival of rides, bands and food the weekend of Fourth of July. Organizers estimate the event raised more than $1 million for the six Lisle-based charities it represented. “On behalf of the group, we will truly miss this event and the fun we had,” organizers wrote outside of the official statement. “Looking back, even the stressful and trying times were fun, full of stories, laughs, lifelong friendships and memories we’ll never forget. The effort and outcome of what we gave to the community and our affiliates was certainly worth every minute. This group sure has a lot to be proud of. Thank you all for your support over the years.” Organizers announced in April that the 2021 festival would be canceled with the intention of it returning next summer.

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