Permitting Challenges Force Ocean City Balloon Festival to Relocate: What Went Wrong?


Well-known member
Sep 5, 2023
The recent relocation of a balloon festival to Triple Creek Winery in Cordova, Talbot County has drawn criticism of Worcester County's permit process. The festival, originally planned for West Ocean City, faced delays due to a lack of official permits. Jennifer Keener, the Director of Developmental Review and Permitting, emphasized the significance of obtaining permits well in advance, particularly for large-scale events such as the balloon festival. The process involves multiple agencies ensuring factors such as traffic, parking, emergency access, and public safety. Cooperation among agencies and thorough planning is crucial to ensure a successful event. Definitely a lesson to be learned! Read more..
United States
Most permitting process takes time and it's the reason why some States are now working so hard to revamp their old permitting process in order to make it easier and faster to obtain permits for whatever you need to do as an individual or a group. In this case of balloon festival, it's indeed a very big event. They should have started the process of getting all the permits needed for it months ago, this is so that everything will be done and ready before time but unfortunately that's not the case.
Maybe the organizer of the festival did not start the application process for permits earlier, or maybe the authorities did not expedite the approval process. There can be a lot of reasons. When a big event like a balloon festival is being planned, a lot of care should be taken and approval should not be given instantly because we know what happened in the recent Burning Man festival.
After reading the article, it's clear that it wasn't simply a matter of not enough time for allowing the was also negligence on the part of the event planner to provide the necessary documentation. Even though the permit process is extensive for that county, the requirements were really about safety such as parking, emergency first aid, no flame certifications, etc... A huge event such as a balloon festival should have started a lot earlier in gaining permits necessary.
Although it was disappointing to relocate the Ocean City Balloon Festival, we can view this experience as a chance for growth. By learning from the challenges we faced and using improved strategies, we can ensure that future events run more smoothly and provide a positive experience for everyone involved.