The 49th Annual Adirondack Balloon Festival kicks off Thursday at Crandall Park in Glens Falls with the flight of 10 or more balloons after 5:30 p.m. and runs Friday through Sunday at Floyd Bennett Memorial Airport in Queensbury (Warren County Airport).
Friday’s schedule features the launch of up to 50 balloons, including special shapes, after 5 p.m. at the airport.
On Saturday, up to 75 balloons will launch beginning at 6:30 a.m. at the airport. Another launch of balloons will take place after 5:30 p.m., with some remaining on the ground for the 8 p.m. “Lighting Up the Night” moonglow event.
On Sunday, up to 75 balloons will launch beginning at 6:30 a.m. The event will culminate with a closing flight of 10 balloons back at Crandall Park after 5 p.m.
This year’s event will be a tribute to Joan Grishkot, who, along with her husband, Walter, were the event’s co-founders. “Joan will never be forgotten. Her commitment to public service was unmatched serving as Warren County health director and [she] served on the board of directors of more than 20 local not- for-profits.” said Mark Donahue, president of the festival’s board of directors.
There will be a special tribute to Grishkot at Saturday morning’s launch with some surprises in store.
This year’s shapes are highlighted by a Tasmanian devil-style balloon. “Taz” makes his debut this year and joins “Sunny Boy,” “Mr .Snowman,” “Pandy the Panda Bear” and a lion balloon.
The organizing committee announced that the festival will be back in full force with food vendors, a craft fair, kids activities, live music performances and more. The Open Door Ministry will again be the host for the traditional hangar breakfast. This year’s breakfast will be held in a large tent due to renovations at Floyd Bennett Memorial Airport.
The Adirondack Balloon Festival is a not-for-profit organization governed and operated by volunteers. The event relies on community support for its funding. For 49 years, the balloon festival has been free of charge to the public to attend; it attracts an estimated 125,000 to 150,000 people to the region.
For more details, visit www.adirondackballoonfest.org.