The York County Balloon Festival won't be held at John C. Rudy County Park next year.

The annual hot air balloon festival, held each Father's Day weekend, instead could move to the York Expo Center.

Earlier this year the York County Parks Foundation Charitable Trust, which has partnered to host the festival since 2004, decided to no longer participate, said Tammy Klunk, interim parks director. She said attendance was dwindling.

"Last year (2009) was a real bust, so we just decided to try to find something else as a fundraiser and let that one come to its final conclusion," said Luther Sowers, president of the trust's board.

The event was too weather-dependent, he said. The conditions have to be almost perfect for a balloon to fly.

And although other entertainment and attractions were available, some people became frustrated and stopped coming, Klunk said. Revenue was declining.

"For the staff it was a real chore and for as little as we realized in remuneration, it wasn't really worth their time," Sowers said.

New spot: It appears likely the festival will be held next year at the York Expo Center. The event's Web site already lists the Expo Center as the 2010 venue.

Expo Center spokesman Gene Schenck said the organization is working out the details of hosting the festival.

Schenck said a top priority is delivering other entertainment besides hot air balloons so that people will want to come even if the weather isn't right for flying.


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Although the Trust dropped the festival, Schenck said Expo Center officials are hopeful they can make it a success.

"We have great optimism when it comes to hosting events and being the promoter of events like that," he said. "We don't always win but we give it a good shot."

-- Reach Carl Lindquist at 505-5426 or clindquis t@yorkdispatch.com.

Attendance

Here's a look at the estimated attendance of the York County Balloon Festival since it was first hosted at John C. Rudy County Park:

2004: 12,000

2005: 9,250

2006: 9,500

2007: 10,000

2008: 8,500

2009: 8,100

Source: York County Department of Parks and Recreation.