QUEENSBURY/GLENS FALLS – The 48th annual Adirondacks Hot Air Balloon Festival kicks off today with colors lighting up the sky 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, ball crews and volunteers,” said Mark Donahue, Chairman of the Board. administration of the event. “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 still feature up to 50 balloons, including special shapes such as the dragon, panda bear, Fred the rabbit, 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. The Saturday morning 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,” Donahue said.
The event kicks off tonight from 6-9:30 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 limited capacity to ensure 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 Friday at 3 p.m. Hot air balloon flights are from 5 p.m. to 6:15 p.m.
On Saturday mornings, doors open at 4:30 a.m. and flights depart from 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 a.m. The doors will close after the morning launch.
Doors will reopen Saturday at 3 p.m. and there will be a balloon display at 6:15 p.m. On Saturday evening, a “Light Up the Night” moonlight of 40 balloons will be presented at the airport at 7:30 p.m.
On Sundays, doors open at 4:30 a.m. and hot air balloon rides will be launched from 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 a.m.
All flight times are approximate and all activities are weather permitted. Smoking and dogs are not allowed. Drones or remote control planes are not allowed.
A limited amount of Hot Air Balloon Festival merchandise will be available this year. It will not be available at the airport, but will be available at 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