EAST MARLBOROUGH – The 14th annual Chester County Hot Air Balloon Festival will take place September 10-12 at Willowdale Steeplechase in East Marlborough Township.
The expanded 3-day program highlights over 20 hot air balloons that fly twice a day, a balloon glow with a specially shaped balloon rodeo, untethered and tethered hot air balloon rides and a foot balloon.
There will be a beer garden, monster truck and helicopter rides, live music performed by local bands, great Chester County food, local crafts, shopping and even an area to children.
The hours are Friday, September 10 from 4:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.; Saturday Sept. 11, from 2:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. and Sunday Sept. 12, from 2:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
The Chester County Balloon Festival will host a three-day lineup of Philadelphia-area bands. The bands playing represent a mix of the tri-state area, including headliners from Wilmington, Central New Jersey and Philadelphia, and all feature original family music and well-known covers.
On Friday, Sweet Pill, Taylor Kelly and Grace Vonderkuhn will take the stage. Saturday is Zachary Humenick and James Everhart, Lizdelise and Sug Daniels’ band. Sundays are KooF, Tubey Frank and Dominy.
Tickets are $20 per adult for day passes and $10 per child ages 5-12. Children under 6 are admitted free.
Hot air balloon rides are $225 for 6 a.m. flights and $250 for 4:30 p.m. flights. Saturday 4:30 p.m. flights are sold out.
Vendors include: London Court Beverage, JD’s House of Bacon, Laughing Crab Catering, Albies Burgers, Food Bandit, Rita’s Water Ice, Landhope Farms, Bubble Wow Waffles, La Cuisine, Simply Shrimp, Kikis Vodka and Sly Fox Brewing Co.
Hot air balloons are considered aircraft and are regulated by the (FAA) like airplanes and helicopters. Hot air balloon pilots must pass an annual in-flight certification to maintain their commercial pilot license. Chester County Balloon Festival only invites pilots who have met these qualifications and our strict parameters.
Unlike fixed-wing aircraft, a hot air balloon is dependent on good weather. Ideal conditions are calm winds below 8 mph and cool temperatures. Since wind and heat come with the sun, the ideal time for a balloon to fly is early morning before the sun gets too high in the sky and early evening when the sun begins to go down.
The Chester County Balloon Festival is a non-profit organization with a portion of the proceeds going to the Chester County Hero Fund and other local youth community groups.
The Willowdale Steeplechase is located at the intersection of Routes 82 and 926.