The colorful and multi-themed hot air balloons will take to the skies again in the Glens Falls/Lake George area when the Adirondack Balloon Festival takes place Thursday through Sunday, Sept. 21-24.
It will be the 45th annual event.
It kicks off at 4:30 p.m. on Sept. 21 at Crandall Park in Glens Falls. Events continue through the weekend at Floyd Bennett Memorial Airport in Queensbury.
Some of the unusual balloons will include Owlbert Einstein, Scortch the Dragon, Smiley the Scarecrow and Pokey the Turtle. An American Flag balloon piloted by Barry Delibero will appear for the first time at the festival. It is 70 feet tall and 78 feet wide, organizers said.
Scortch the Dragon also makes his first appearance, piloted by Keith Sproul. He stands 145 feet tall.
This year’s event has band performances during the weekend by the Master Cylinders, North and South Dakotas, Buckeye Rooster, the Old Main and Across the Pond.
Parking passes can be purchased online at www.adirondackballoonfest.org. Passes may also be purchased at the city clerk’s office at Glens Falls City Hall, Queensbury Town Hall, the Warren County Municipal Center ( treasurer’s office) and the Warren County Department of Public Works office in Warrensburg.
Flight times are approximate and all activities are weather-permitting. Dogs are prohibited as are drones or remote control aircrafts.
Thursday, at Crandall Park: 4:30-6:30 p.m., musical performance by Tailspin; 5 p.m. opening ceremonies; 5:15- 6:15 p.m., flight of up to 20 balloons; 6-9:30 p.m. City of Glens Falls Block Party, featuring a balloon walk-about, balloon baskets on display, a car show and childrens’ activities.
Friday, at Floyd Bennett Memorial Airport, 433 Queensbury Ave. in Queensbury: 3 p.m., gates open; craft fair hosted by Zonta, childrens’ activities, band Performances by the North & South Dakotas and food vendors open for business; 5-6:15 p.m., flight of up to 80 balloons.
Saturday, at Floyd Bennett Memorial Airport: 5-11:00 a.m. a “big balloon breakfast” in the airport hangar, $8 adults and $6 seniors; 6:30-7:30 a.m., flight of up to 100 balloons; all day to 7 p.m., food vendors, craft fair hosted by Zonta, childrens’ activities; 2:30-4:30 p.m., music by Buckeye Rooster ; 5-6:15 p.m., flight of up to 100 balloons; 5-7 p.m., music by the Old Main; 8 p.m., the “Lighting Up The Night” airport moon-glow event featuring 30-plus balloons.
Sunday, at Floyd Bennett Memorial Airport: 5-11:00 a.m. a “big balloon breakfast” in the airport hangar; 5 a.m. to noon; food vendors, craft fair hosted by Zonta, childrens’ activities and an aircraft display; 6:30-7:30 a.m., the “Walter’s Mass Ascension” simultaneous flight of up to 100 balloons; 8 a.m., Catholic Mass in the entertainment tent; 9 a.m. Protestant Sunday service in the entertainment tent.
In Crandall Park: 2-5 p.m., music by Across the Pond; 5 p.m., launch of 20-plus balloons.
The schedule is available at the festival website.
The Adirondack Balloon Festival is a nonprofit organization governed and operated by volunteers. It relies on community support for funding. For 45 years, the festival has been a free-of-charge event. Organizers estimate it attracts 125,000-150,000 people to the region each year and has a substantial impact on the region’s economy.