Annual Labor Day Balloon Festival returns to Callaway Gardens – Reuters

Annual Labor Day Balloon Festival returns to Callaway Gardens

Posted 9:52 a.m. Monday, September 5, 2022

Wind and rain may have dampened the festivities, but Callaway Gardens’ annual Labor Day weekend balloon festival still kicked off the summer with a bang.

Callaway Gardens at Pine Mountain held its 24th annual Labor Day Balloon Festival over the holiday weekend. The three-day celebration kicked off on Friday with its traditional balloon and fireworks show.

Each year, Callaway Gardens lines up hot air balloons along the beach around Lake Robin for a spectacular light show. After sunset, the burners that fill the balloons with hot air are ignited periodically to produce an impressive light show to accompany the nightly fireworks.

Over the weekend, in addition to swimming, biking, hiking and regular activities in the gardens, attendees were able to purchase hot air balloon rides for the chance to taste the experience of flying in a hot air balloon.

Sometimes, when the winds didn’t allow for hot air ballooning, Tree Top Flying Ballooning of Mooresville, North Carolina opened up the balloons for kids to play inside.

Tree Top workers said they had to be careful of the wind when doing tethered rides. The rides were closed for much of Saturday due to the wind.

The kids still had fun running inside the ball, even though it was on the ground. A large fan helped keep one of Tree Top’s smaller balloons inflated and blew around the beach balls for the kids to chase. The smallest balloon still has a volume of 77,000 cubic feet. Some of the balloons the company uses exceed 100,000 cubic feet.

Danielle Peters and her son Nakia Peters enjoyed getting into the hot air balloon and learning how it flies, but were a bit disappointed that they couldn’t ride the hot air balloon at the time. Their family came down from Newnan to enjoy the hot air balloon festival.

The annual hot air balloon festival serves as a summer send-off before fall activities begin.

In two weeks, evenings in the gardens will once again be lit up, this time lit by pumpkins as part of the resort’s Pumpkins at Callaway event.

New to the event this year will be the Garden’s brand new Corn Maze. The Pumpkin Patch and the newly created Corn Maze will be available all day, but after the sun goes down, the Corn Maze transforms into a light-up maze for some not-so-scary exploration.

Pumpkins at Callaway will take place the weekends of September 16 through October 30.