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Day trip possibility: Balloon festival blows up for 40th next weekend

Event features ‘World’s Largest Inflated Petting Zoo’

September 13, 2012
Adirondack Daily Enterprise

GLENS FALLS - The Adirondack Balloon Festival will have its 40th anniversary celebration Sept. 20-23, highlighted by a record number of specially shaped balloons as well as two nights of fireworks and two moonglows, in which hot-air balloons light up the night sky.

Debuting at this year's festival is "the World's Largest Inflated Petting Zoo" - special-shape animal balloons that will inflate side by side on Saturday and Sunday mornings:

-"Betty Jean," a butterfly

Article Photos

A bunny balloon
(Photo provided)

-Spyder Pig

-Lily, a bumble bee

-Claw'd, a crab

Article Map

-Barn Balloon flown by Mike Caccavalle and Alan Jones

-Pig Headed

-Fred B. Rabbit

-Pokey, a Turtle

-T-rex, a dinosaur

-Purple People Eater

-Birthday cake

-Airhead Invader

-Dingbat.

Thursday festivities kick off at Crandall Park with the inflation of a 40th anniversary special-shape birthday cake balloon, followed by a flight of 25 balloons. Events move to downtown Glens Falls for the Block Party, where highlights include a candlestick balloon glow, kids activities, music, food and fireworks.

Friday's activities move to Warren County Airport with a launch of 80-plus balloons, including this year's new shapes at 5 p.m. Then activities move to Lake George for the first moonglow at Battlefield Park, with fireworks over the lake.

Saturday morning's launch debuts the "Petting Zoo." Saturday's signature anniversary event will be the "40 for 40" moonglow at the airport, where organizers hope to have 40 hot-air balloons inflated and illuminating the night sky at 8 p.m.

There will be activities at the airport between balloon flights including a craft fair, food vendors and kids activities including bounce houses, a rock climbing wall, slides and appearances by Radio Disney.

Newly available this year is VIP parking. Located in front of the airport terminal, passes are available for a fee of $15 for the weekend. This provides priority parking and separate entrance and exits.

The Adirondack Balloon Festival is a nonprofit organization. The event is operated by volunteers and relies on community support for funding. For 40 years, it has been free of charge to the public to attend. Organizers say it attracts 100,000 to 150,000 people to the region each year.

"Our 40th anniversary is a celebration for our community," organizer and board President Mark Donahue said in a press release. "From its small humble beginnings, this event would not have become what it is without the incredible community commitment and participation. It's going to be a grand show this year!"

For more details, visit www.adirondackballoonfest.org.

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SCHEDULE

40th anniversary

Adirondack Balloon Festival

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THURSDAY, Sept. 20, Crandall Park, Glens Falls

4:30-6:30 p.m., Music and band performance

5 p.m., Opening ceremonies, acknowledgement of 40th anniversary

5:15 p.m., Launch of special-shape "Birthday Cake" balloon, followed by launch of 20 balloons

6-9:30 p.m., City of Glens Falls Block Party featuring walk-about balloon, balloon baskets on display, car show, kids activities and fireworks

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FRIDAY, Sept. 21, Floyd Bennett Memorial Airport, Queensbury

3 p.m., Gates open, craft fair and food vendors open for business

5 p.m., Balloon launch: 80-plus balloons including special shapes

8 p.m. at Battlefield Park, Lake George village: Moonglow at the lake, followed by fireworks

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SATURDAY, Sept., 22, Floyd Bennett Memorial Airport, Queensbury

511 a.m., "Big Balloon Breakfast," airport hangar

6 a.m. - 7 p.m., Food vendors open for business, craft fair with 30-plus vendors, kids activities including bounce houses, rock climbing wall, aircraft display

6:30 a.m., Flight of 100 balloons, including more than 10 special shapes

25 p.m., Jonathan Newelll Band performs

5 p.m., Flight of 100 balloons, including more than 10 special shapes

7-9 p.m., Jonathan Newelll Band performs

8 p.m., "40 for 40" Moonglow: Up to 40 balloons illuminate the night

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SUNDAY, Sept. 23, Floyd Bennett Memorial Airport, Queensbury

511 a.m., "Big Balloon Breakfast," airport hangar

6 a.m.-noon, Food vendors open for business, craft fair with 30-plus vendors, kids activities including bounce houses, rock climbing wall, aircraft display

6:30 a.m., "Walter's Mass Ascension": simultaneous flight of 100 balloons, including 10-plus special shapes

8 a.m., Catholic Mass in the entertainment tent

9 a.m., Protestant Sunday Service in the entertainment tent

25 p.m. at Crandall Park, Glens Falls, Jonathan Newelll Band performs

5 p.m., Launch of 20-plus balloons

 
 

 

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