80-Foot-Tall Jesus Hot Air Balloon to Lift Off This Easter Season

An illustration of the 'RISEN!' hot air balloon, expected to make its maiden voyage during the 2015 Easter season.
An illustration of the "RISEN!" hot air balloon, expected to make its maiden voyage during the 2015 Easter season. | (Illustration: courtesy Sky Sail Balloons, Inc.)

A mammoth hot air balloon featuring the painting of a smiling Jesus will ascend to the skies of western New York during the Easter season.

Named "RISEN!", the hot air balloon will be 80-feet-tall and have a volume of 105,000 cubic feet, being constructed from more than 2,000 square yards of fabric.

Sky Sail Balloons, Inc., an Ashville, New York-based hot air balloon company, will create the RISEN!, with its maiden voyage slated for this Easter season.

Geoff Turner, owner and chief pilot for Sky Sail Balloons, directed The Christian Post to a press statement regarding the RISEN! project.

"It will be as large as three average sized homes in volume, and held aloft by dual propane burners each capable of generating as much heat as 600 gas grills, over 35 million BTU combined," read the statement.

"The balloon is constructed from over 2000 square yards of fabric, and nearly a mile of seat belt like reinforcement webbing. The steel and rattan basket is capable of carrying up to 4 passengers in addition to the pilot."

The statement from Turner also noted that the artwork that will be featured on the balloon will be the Jack Jewell portrait titled "The Risen Christ by the Sea," which Turner has always had an interest in.

"He has one in his home prominently displayed, and has given a framed print to his children as they have set out on their own," noted the statement.

"So the thought came to him…what better, more warm-hearted friendly way might people be introduced to Christ and the Good News, than with a Hot Air Balloon featuring this iconic artwork."

The Jewell portrait will be reproduced on the RISEN! balloon's frame at a scale of 60 feet tall and 40 feet wide.

Once completed, the balloon is marketed as being available for events by Christian organizations provided the group in question affirms belief in the Holy Bible and the event itself does not advance unbiblical ideas.

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