Shakespeare's offers free balloon ride as part of delayed grand opening

Monday, September 3, 2012 | 9:53 p.m. CDT
A hot air balloon hired by Shakespeare's Pizza gives rides to customers on Monday to celebrate the opening of its new Peachtree Drive location. The event was rained out on two previous occasions but finally took place on Labor Day.

COLUMBIA — Shakespeare's pizza served up more than slices on Labor Day at its new location on Peachtree Drive.

Visitors were given the chance to take a number for a free hot air balloon ride from 6 to 8 p.m. Monday.


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Patrick Fogue, whose company Aerial Advantage provided the cow-spotted balloon with Shakespeare's logo, said that he and Shakespeare's owner Jay Lewis had hoped to hold the event when the new location opened two weeks ago. However, weather issues prevented the free balloon rides from happening on opening day.

The balloon was on a tether and rose about 100 feet in the air over the lawn outside the Shakespeare's parking lot. Rides lasted about five minutes.

Lisa Bruce and her son Miles Clark, 7, were among those waiting in the Shakespeare's parking lot for their number to be called. 

Bruce said Miles is being treated at Rusk Rehabilitation Center for what she called "a rare neurological virus."

"Mom, tell her the whole name," said Miles from his wheelchair. 

His mom smiled. "Acute disseminated encephalomyelitis," she said.

"We're on a therapeutic outing," Miles said. 

Vicki Fogue, who co-owns Aerial Advantage with her husband, reached for the lever inside the basket and pulled, sending a loud stream of blue and orange fire into the balloon's opening. The balloon rose into the night, carrying Shakespeare's patrons.

Supervising editor is Karen Miller

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