The Heritage Inn International Balloon Festival has brought some unique opportunities to High River.

Cathy Dudgeon says they've been able to bring in young people and teach them about hot air balloons.

"They get really excited about it, I believe initially it's just the novelty of being close to the balloon, we set up a real basket and we let them get in the basket and if they're feeling brave they can hit the burner," she explained.

"We've got a mini balloon that we can set up and we don't have to be as careful with the mini so they can pick up the mini and touch the fabric and we don't worry about that as much as we would with a real balloon."

Over 100 kids have taken part in the sessions, including the Foothills Boys and Girls Club, two for the High River Library and one for the Dad's central program at Wildrose Connections.

"The Boys and Girls Club, this is their second year that they've come out and it's really amazing how many of them remembered stuff about ballooning from last summer," she says. "They were telling me about the balloons, the questions they ask and their enthusiasm, it's wonderful, I really like it."

The balloon festival starts Wednesday, September 21.