The Adirondack Balloon Festival returns for the 49th year, with a special tribute to co-founder Joan Grishkot.
The four-day event is scheduled to start at 4 p.m. on September 22 at Crandall Park and will continue until September 25 at Warren County Airport in Queensbury. The tribute to Grishkot, who died in July 2021, will take place during the balloon launch on Saturday morning from 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 a.m. Organizers say “special surprises” are planned for the signing.
Mark Donahue, chairman of the festival board, spoke about Grishkot’s importance to the event and beyond.
“Jeanne will never be forgotten. Her commitment to public service was unmatched – serving as Warren County’s health director and serving on the board of more than 20 local nonprofit organizations. Donahue said in a press release.
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He said The Post Star Thursday that this year is “bittersweet” without Grishkot, who he says was his sidekick in 2019.
“I almost pulled into his driveway a few times this week,” Donahue said.
This year’s festival is back “in full force”, according to the statement, with food vendors, craft fair, children’s activities, live music and the traditional shed breakfast, to be held this year. under a large outdoor tent.
“The most exciting thing this year is that the festival is going back to how it was. Last year we had so many regulations and restrictions going up the chain of command, it was so hard to just have balls and nothing else,” Donahue said.
In addition, the festival is looking for volunteers to participate in training to learn how to equip and help balloon teams. The training will take place on September 17 at 9 a.m.
Most special-shaped balloons require extra help to inflate.
Special shaped balloons this year include: a “TAZ” balloon, named after the cartoon character Tasmanian Devil, “Sunny Boy”, “Mr. Snowman”, “Pandy the Panda Bear”, and the newest addition at the Montreal, Canada “The Bird” festival.
The festivities in Crandall Park begin at 4 p.m. on September 22 with food vendors and a concert. The opening ceremony is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. with a flight of at least 10 balloons. The Glens Falls portion of the festival continues from 6-9:30 p.m. downtown with balloon baskets, a car show and activities for kids.
The airport gates open at 3 p.m. on September 23 with live music and an evening flight of up to 50 balloons, including special shapes.
This year, the free event offered attendees the option to purchase VIP tickets giving the ticket holder access to a separate entrance and exit, as well as closer parking.
Donahue said the passes have all been announced at this time.
Jana DeCamilla is a writer who covers Moreau, Queensbury and Lake George. She can be reached at 518-742-3272 or [email protected]