Hundreds of children will look up into the sky on Sunday in the Christkindl district of Steyr – weather permitting – and watch with wide eyes a hot air balloon that rises into the sky with their wishes for the Christ child.
This year too, the traditional balloon launch in Steyr will take place on the first Sunday of Advent. For the second time, the Christ child, and not Santa Claus as before, will accept the children’s wishes.
Balloon launch on Pfarrwiese
At around 11 a.m. this year the hot air balloon will rise into the air on the parish meadow in front of the Christkindl pilgrimage church. “We advise children who would like to give their wish lists to the Christ Child to be there at 10 a.m.,” says Erich Hinterwirth, who, as chairman of the Steyr Stamp Collectors Club, organized the balloon launch for the first time last year in close coordination with the city of Steyr and the Tourism association carried out.
If the letters to the Christ Child are put in a so-called balloon letter – an envelope that can be bought directly on site – the children even receive a reply from the Christ Child. “We make sure not to promise the children anything,” says Manuela Hinterwirth, who actively supports her husband.
“It was important to us that the donations stay in Upper Austria,” the couple from Garsten agree.
Money stays in the state
For precisely this reason, Hinterwirth took over the organization of the balloon launch from the previous organizer – 50 percent of the income went abroad. “We are now donating half of the money to the OÖN Christkindl campaign and to the Steyr children’s emergency aid.”
The entire balloon launch is handled by the Hinterwirth couple – from organization to marketing to the design of the stamps, letters and reply cards. “We’re doing well, so it’s important to me to stand up for people who aren’t so lucky,” says Manuela Hinterwirth, who mainly supports her husband with the posters, envelopes and reply cards.
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