The festival starts on Friday and ends on Monday.
“We named it the Philadelphia Hot Air Balloon Festival because believe it or not, if you go up about 500 feet, you’ll have a great view of the Philadelphia skyline,” explained event owner Jake Frame of Lancaster Balloon Rides.
Festival producer Bruce Mowday talked to us about the inside of a balloon.
“We’re celebrating our independence, which is clearly for Philadelphia, and Philly was actually the first area where balloons flew in the United States,” Mowday said.
The balloons ignited before sunrise, the glow shining across the dark sky. At daybreak, other balloons rose.
There are over 20 festival balloons in all different shapes and sizes.
Frame explained what it’s like to fly in one.
“You’re floating, you don’t even feel it once you get off the ground. It’s nice and smooth, and no sense of height, so if you’re afraid of heights, that’s no problem,” said Frame.
You must be 6 or older to ride the hot air balloon, and tickets are required for the festival flights, which operate at 6 a.m. and 6 p.m.
You can also queue for tethered balloons.
Organizers have held a similar event in Lancaster for the past 11 years, and they will do so again in September.
This weekend there are beer and wine gardens, Sunday night fireworks, games and music.
“We’ve got acres and acres of space here, so you’re not going to be neck and neck with people. You’re going to get some breathing room,” Mowday said.
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