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It’s our 20th and guess who is coming back!
Tuesday 12 February 2019

Balloons over Waikato is back Tuesday 19th – Saturday 23rd March and it’s our 20th birthday! To celebrate we are bringing back some of the most loved Special Shapes that have visited over the past 20 years.

We are delighted to introduce our first Special Shape. It is the most requested and one of the most loved of all our past Special Shaped balloons… bringing the force to the Waikato for the first time in 2008… it’s time to welcome back …. Darth Vader!

Event manager, Michele Connell, is thrilled to have Darth return. “Being our 20th birthday, we wanted to celebrate and commemorate the last 20 years. Without doubt, Darth has been one of our stand out special shapes!” She continues, “We know he will excite a new generation of children around the Waikato, and we are looking forward to seeing him reign supreme over the Zuru Nightglow”.

Darth Vader was built in 2007 with full approval from George Lucas Films. Darth’s pilot and balloon owner Benoit Lambert, is a huge Star Wars fan. The pilot from Belgium came up with the idea to create the Darth Vader helmet special shape and worked with Lucas Films in secret during the design and build process. The 26-meter-high, 290 kg balloon took 8 weeks to manufacture, and is now one of the most popular Special Shape balloons on the circuit.

You are invited to Balloons over Waikato’s 20th Birthday with 5 days of flying planned from Innes Common each morning, balloon visits to Thames & Cambridge, the much loved HCBA City Burn & Markets and Hamilton’s big night out, The ZURU Nightglow!

Don’t miss your chance to join the force and meet Darth Vader when Balloons over Waikato celebrates its 20th birthday …now starting Tuesday 19th March and finishing after the ZURU Nightglow on Saturday 23rd March.

Visit for further information.