This year’s 48th Annual Adirondacks Balloon Festival will honor local essential workers.
Organizers have announced details for this year’s event, which will differ from previous festivals due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The event will take place from September 23 to 26.
“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 Mark Donahue, chairman of the festival’s board of directors, in a press release. “Therefore, the decision was made not to have any food or craft vendors to reduce a large gathering of people in many areas.”
The organizers recommend that those present wear masks.
The event kicks off Thursday, September 23 with a block party in downtown Glens Falls. It will feature live music, a car show and a balloon candlestick glow. No take off will take place at Crandall Park to avoid congestion.
The event continues all day September 24-25 at the Warren County Airport. A moonglow of 40 balloons will take place at the airport on Saturday evening.
The festival ends on September 26 with “The Mass Rise of Walter and Joan”, a flight of 50 balloons from the airport, in honor of the late Walter and Joan Grishkot, founders and beacons of the festival.
A limited amount of Balloon Festival merchandise will be available for sale at the Block Party.
This year’s logo is a rainbow-colored balloon, inspired by The Rainbow Project, which uses rainbows to express optimism and appreciation for frontline workers. Saturday’s flight will feature an essential worker flying in each balloon.
The special shape balloons this year are Dragon, Panda Bear, Fred the Rabbit and Sunny Boy.
It will be the first festival since the death of Joan Grishkot on August 5. Grishkot was the treasurer for the event and took care of many behind-the-scenes details.
An earlier schedule called for a second moonglow on Saturday at East Field in Glens Falls, but that event was removed from the schedule.
For more information, visit www.adirondackballoonfest.org or follow @adirondackballoonfest on Facebook for the latest updates.
VIP parking passes can be purchased on the website.
Warren County Health Services Director Ginelle Jones recommended mask wearing and social distancing, as well as vaccinations for all who are eligible.
Anyone who is sick should stay home.
“If you have even a sniffle, you don’t go; because you are only putting other people at risk,” she says.