QUEENSBURY, NY – Plans have been finalized for the 48th annual Adirondacks Hot Air Balloon Festival later this month.
The event, scheduled for Thursday, September 23 through Sunday, September 26, will be themed “Celebrating Our Local Essential Workers.”
Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the festival will look different this year, the event’s board announced.
“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, ball crews and volunteers,” said the chairman of the board. administration, Mark Donahue, in a press release. “Therefore, the decision was made not to have food or craft vendors in order to reduce a large gathering of people to small areas.”
The event will feature dozens of balloons, including special shapes such as the popular dragon, panda bear, Fred the rabbit and Sunny Boy.
This year’s Adirondack Balloon Festival logo is inspired by The Rainbow Project, which uses rainbows to celebrate the optimism and appreciation of essential workers nationwide during the pandemic.
Additionally, Saturday morning’s flight will carry one 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,” Donahue said in the statement.
The festivities kick off on Thursday evening, September 23 with a block party in downtown Glens Falls featuring live music, a car show and a balloon candlestick glow. There will be no flights from Crandall Park due to limited ability to ensure social distancing.
The Friday afternoon flight and all weekend activities will take place at Floyd Bennett Memorial Airport (Warren County Airport), located at 443 Queensbury Ave. in Queensbury.
Saturday night will feature a 40-balloon moonlight at the airport.
The Adirondacks Hot Air Balloon Festival 2021 is free.
A limited amount of Hot Air Balloon Festival merchandise will be available this year. It will not be available at the airport, but at the block party and other community locations to be announced soon and promoted on Facebook.
Adirondack Balloon Festival is a non-profit organization run solely by volunteers. Donations can be made online on the event website.
It is recommended that all festival attendees wear face masks.
More information, including a full program with full event details, is available online at www.adirondackballoonfest.org, where attendees can also purchase VIP parking passes.