QUEENSBURY / GLENS FALLS – The 48th Annual Adirondack Balloon Festival kicks off today with colors lighting up the skies this weekend, but several changes have been made due to the pandemic.
“As one of the largest spectator events in the North East, we have a responsibility to create an environment that ensures the safety of all of our spectators, balloon teams and volunteers,” said Mark Donahue, President of the board of directors of the event. “Therefore, the decision was made not to have food or craft vendors in order to reduce a large gathering of people in small areas.”
The event will always feature up to 50 balloons, including special shapes such as the dragon, panda bear, Fred the bunny, and Sunny Boy.
This year’s festival logo is inspired by the Rainbow Project, which uses rainbows to celebrate the optimism and appreciation of essential workers nationwide during COVID-19. Saturday morning’s flight will feature a local essential worker flying in each balloon.
“We couldn’t think of a better way to give back to our community than to celebrate our essential workers and show our appreciation,” said Donahue.
The event kicks off tonight from 6 to 9:30 p.m. with the downtown Glens Falls block party on Glen Street featuring live music, a car show and a balloon candlestick glow. There will be no flights from Crandall Park this year due to the limited ability to provide social distancing.
The Friday afternoon flight and all weekend activities will take place at Floyd Bennett Airport (Warren County Airport), 443 Queensbury Ave., Queensbury.
Doors open on Friday at 3 p.m. Hot air balloon flights are from 5 p.m. to 6.15 p.m.
On Saturday mornings, the doors open at 4.30am and flights depart from 6.30am to 7.30am. The doors will close after the morning launch.
The doors will reopen on Saturday at 3 p.m. and there will be a balloon demonstration at 6.15 p.m.
On Sunday, the doors open at 4:30 am, hot air balloon flights will be launched from 6:30 am to 7:30 am.
All flight times are approximate and all activities are weather permitting. Smoking and dogs are not allowed. Drones or remote control planes are not allowed.
A limited amount of balloon festival merchandise will be available this year. It will not be available at the airport, but will be available during the Downtown Block Party.
VIP parking passes can be purchased at adirondackballoonfest.org. The organizers recommend that participants wear masks. Visit the event’s website or Facebook page for more information.
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Categories: Life and Arts