"We saw this as a great economic development opportunity," she said. "Obviously, the first event (last year) was not (big); because of the weather, it didn't exactly get the greatest start. But everyone who came was committed to coming back. These are people who came from all over the West.
"This is just a fantastic way to really jump-start this event which we plan to continue year after year," Fisher said. "In Cedar City, they have the Shakespearian Festival," and this is an event that Davis County can now boast, she said.
"We will also get this as a really big economic driver to promote Antelope Island and the balloon fest,"Fisher said.
The Davis Chamber of Commerce helped spearhead the event last year and Chamber chairman Vaughn Jacobsen said this year's event is planned for Thursday, Sept. 20-Sunday, Sept. 23.
Events lined up include visits by pilots to county elementary schools to teach students about flight, history of ballooning and discussion on gravity. Students can participate in setting up a balloon and watching it launch from the ground. Schools will be chosen by an application process.
Friday-Sunday will feature morning and evening launches on the island, along with vendors, events, island tours and activities.
"It is an opportunity for the public to experience one of the most thrilling sports in the world at one of the most pristine and beautiful venues available for hot air balloons," Jacobsen said.
Stampede "balloon meister" Mike Bowens has called the island a "unique and exciting venue for hot air ballooning."
"If they (stampede committee) can use this money to advertise, really promote this thing, it could become self-sustaining," Fisher said. "It will just benefit it tremendously, and then I think it will grow every year.
"This is a great thing for Davis County, very unique to the entire state. I think we're really going to see a benefit," she said.
"We're excited that the Legislature has recognized the stampede and its value to the community and was able to find one-time money to help sponsor this event," said Barbara Riddle, CEO of the Davis Area Convention & Visitors Bureau.
"The venue provides a really unique background and site for a balloon festival. From a tourism perspective, anything we can use to bring people to Davis County and to the island is of great benefit to our community," she said.
For more information, call Chamber CEO John Pitt at 593-2200.