CANTON, OH (October 19, 2011) – The 2012 Pro Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement Festival planning is well underway for the professional staffs and team of more than 4,200 volunteers from the Pro Football Hall of Fame and Canton Regional Chamber of Commerce. Candy Wallace, 2012 General Chairman of the Chamber’s Enshrinement Festival committees, noted that a date change will be necessary for one of the events. “During planning for the 2011 festivities, the Enshrinement Festival learned that due to site issues in 2012, 2013 and 2014, the U. S. National Hot Air Balloon Championship will be held in Longview, Texas, at the same time as our Balloon Classic/Jackson-Belden Food Fest & Fireworks,” said Wallace. The Nationals are held at a “teaching” airport during the week of the school’s break between semesters, and the semester schedule has now changed. “The Enshrinement Festival’s Balloon Classic celebrated its 25th anniversary this year and is highly regarded in the ballooning world as a premier event,” noted Maury Sullivan, long-time event director. “This date conflict would significantly impact the quality and success of our Balloon Classic due to the fact that the most experienced pilots, ballooning officials, scoring teams and weather experts are already annually committed to the U. S. National Championship.” The date change also eliminates a date conflict with two other major balloon festivals, one in New Jersey and one in Iowa. Therefore, after consultation and approval from all partners, it was decided to adjust the Enshrinement Festival schedule to move the Balloon Classic/Jackson-Belden Food Fest & Fireworks one week earlier than usual, on July 20, 21 and 22, 2012. This loosens the Enshrinement Festival schedule a bit and allows the downtown Canton Concert & Fireworks event to be moved from Thursday night to Saturday night, July 28, 2012. Organizers believe that these two schedule modifications will slightly ease the burden on volunteers, allow for more efficient site setup, and make the entire Enshrinement Festival experience even more enjoyable for participants, attendees, and sponsors. The date modifications have received the full support and approval of the Board of Trustees of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, as well as the Enshrinement Festival Steering Committee and the Board of Directors of the Canton Regional Chamber of Commerce, along with the Jackson-Belden Chamber of Commerce and host facilities, Kent State University at Stark and Stark State College. “Continued enthusiasm and commitment by our staff, team of volunteers, and family of sponsors working cooperatively will be crucial to the implementation of these changes, and we are confident everyone will meet the challenge,” said Joanne Murray, Enshrinement Festival director. The exact 2012 Enshrinement Festival dates cannot be finalized until the National Football League determines the date of the NFL/Hall of Fame Game, and then the Enshrinement and remaining 16 event dates will be secured. However, assuming that the dates will be similar to prior experience, attached is the TENTATIVE 2012 Enshrinement Festival Schedule of Events – subject to change.