The Chairman of Saga International Balloon Fiesta Organization
Mizumachi Hiroshi

From the time of the first competition in 1980 on the banks of the Kase River, I would like to welcome you to the 22nd annual Saga Balloon Fiesta. However, as the Balloon fiesta is an outdoor sport and weather is always a factor, we must hope for clear skies. Especially since last years unusual heavy rain and wind plagued the first two days of the tournament, canceling all the flights. None the less, the weather finally cleared and as it was a huge relief for everyone, the last three days were absolutely perfect for flying.
This years Balloon Fiesta is sure to leave everyone extremely satisfied as I know Saga has prepared various competitions of which just a few include: The 17th Pacific Cup, The 18th Japanese National Championship, The 2nd round of the 2001 World HONDA Grand Prix, The 4th round of 2001 Japan HONDA Grand Prix, and Balloon Fantasia 2001. Events that may be of particular interest will be the competitions held on Saturday the 3rd and Sunday the 4th in both the morning and the afternoon. Furthermore, the daytime sky events as well as 'La Montgolfier Nocturne', a fantastic night show of tethering balloons, is sure to make the weekend a great success.
Finally, as this years Fiesta opens, I would like to show my gratitude to the many hard-working volunteers, Saga Prefecture, Saga City, Saga's Hot Air Balloon steering committee, Honda Incorporated, and the large number of corporations that have given their time and support. Again thank you very much and lets all pray for great weather at this years Fiesta.