Awards · For twelve years, FWA was chosen as one of the “Top 20 Events” in the Southeast
· 1986, FWA was recognized as the top event in the Southeast
· 1989 and 1990 FWA was honored as one of the top 100 events in North America
· FWA was one of just two Carolina events to receive this honor. 1997 FWA was the only SC event (out of 40000 national events reviewed) to receive an honorable mention for “Top Event in ’97”, by the Event Business News.
· In 2000 Anderson, South Carolina, home of Freedom Weekend Aloft was chosen as an All America City.
Unique Publicity· In 1999, FWA was featured on NBC’s Today Show.
· Early in 1987 and again in 1998 on NBC’s Today Show, co-host and weatherman Willard Scott discussed Greenville and referred to it as “the balloon capital of the world”.
· In 1998 FWA was a “Jeopardy” question. The event was listed under the category “Lets Celebrate” which covered various celebrations throughout the world (i.e., Labor Day, Bastille Day in Tahiti, Greenville Day, Feast of St. Mark in Venice).
o The answer was stated as “A highlight of Freedom Weekend Aloft in Greenville, South Carolina is a race of these craft”.
o The answer being “What are Hot Air Balloons?”
o What was even more wonderful is that a high school aged contestant from Texas answered it correctly!
· In 2000, FWA was featured in “Southern Living” Magazine whose readership is over 13 million people.