The Downtown Bangor Partnership hopes to rent an AeroBalloon to offer rides above the city this summer. Credit: Picasa 3.0 |

Downtown Bangor will not feature a rideable helium balloon this year, after members of the Downtown Bangor Partnership decided this week not to pursue the installation in Pickering Square this summer and fall.

Citing a lack of sponsorship, partnership coordinator Betsy Lundy said that plans for the AeroBalloon — a tethered, helium-filled balloon with an attached gondola that can take up to 16 people between 300 and 500 feet up in the air — have been put on hold.

“I am already having conversations for next year,” said Lundy. “We are working to secure sponsorship to bring it for 2020.”

Lundy said one of the main goals of the balloon — which would have cost $100,000 for a two-month rental — was to help “change the conversation” around Pickering Square, as extensive work on the adjacent Merchant’s Plaza green spaces and on the parking garage is slated to begin on May 13.

“We thought it was a good idea to put the balloon there this summer during construction to change the conversation about what is happening downtown,” she said.

In addition to the AeroBalloon, the Downtown Bangor Partnership and Lundy had proposed two other downtown projects this summer.

One of them, the Urban Slide, was a giant water slide that was to be installed on Park Street hill for one weekend in July. The slide idea was shot down by stakeholders on Park Street, including the Unitarian Universalist Society, which holds church services on Sunday morning and would have lost most of its available parking.

The other idea, the return of the Sidewalk Arts Festival after a nearly 10-year absence, is confirmed for the weekend of July 13 along Exchange and Harlow streets. Artists and artisans from around New England will display their work in booths and tents along the sidewalk. Applications for the festival closed this week, and participating artists will be announced later this month.

For more information on other Downtown Bangor Partnership events, visit

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Emily Burnham

Emily Burnham is a Maine native and proud Bangorian, covering business, the arts, restaurants and the culture and history of the Bangor region.