The Crown of Maine Balloon Fest was born as part of the 2004 Isle Fest, when local pilot Dena Winslow and Canadian pilot Wild Bill Whelan convinced the Presque Isle Area Chamber of Commerce to give it a try. In addition to Dena and Bill, Doug Shippee from New Brunswick flew that first year.
Isle Fest 2005 saw the expansion to five balloons and in 2006 the number of balloons rose to nine and Isle Fest was re-dubbed the Crown of Maine Balloon Fest. Since then the festival has continued to grow and has seen some of the best flying around. Pilotís Wendell Purvis and Joel Jones claim that The County is one their favorite places to fly due to the beautiful landscapes and friendly folks. We tend to agree and we hope that in 2011 youíll join our pilots as they add color to Aroostook Countyís sky.
Aroostook County also holds a place in ballooning history as the home to two famous Transatlantic Balloon Flights. In 1978, the Double Eagle II launched from Presque Isle and made the first successful crossing of the Atlantic. In 1984, Joe Kittinger became the first person to make the solo Transatlantic balloon journey, he launched from Caribou.