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Bill Smith wins the 2023 High Fly Cup


This year’s High Fly Cup winner at Centralia Balloon Fest is Bill Smith of Fisherville, Kentucky who flies the balloon Aero Force One. His sponsor at the Centralia Balloon Fest was SSM Health St. Mary’s Medical Staff.

The High Fly Cup is named after Wes Rinker’s Baseball Balloon, “High Fly.” The High Fly Cup recognizes those who are High Fly ambassadors of ballooning and ambassadors of life. “From the smiles they put on children’s faces to the memories that they leave behind, they make a difference.” The award is sponsored by The Weekly.

Bill has been “super involved” for years with the Kentucky Balloon Association and the Balloon Federation of America Board.

Always looking for a challenge, Smith also began special long jumps, where the top speed of the balloon is over 100 mph and the height it can fly is over 15,000 feet.

In receiving the High Fly award he was credited for always taking the extra time for kids and adults to answer all their questions and help them learn more about ballooning. He recognizes the hard work that his crews and others do for him. “He brings out the best in everyone.”

Pictured above are Bill Smith and his wife Janet.

Aero Force One balloon

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