Adirondack Balloon Festival begins
A popular tradition got underway in Glens Falls Thursday evening. YNN's Brooke Selby takes us up, up and away for the Adirondack Balloon Festival.
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GLENS FALLS, N.Y. -- The colors of the rainbow will illuminate the sky morning and night in the North Country this weekend as the 40th annual Adirondack Balloon Festival gets underway
"It was started with a very small group of 18 balloons and today has grown to be one of the premier events of the entire northeastern United States," said Mark Donahue, President of the Adirondack Balloon Festival.
Exciting both city officials and local businesses
"It brings people to the community. It brings people here midweek and as a result, people come to the community, they dine, they enjoy the experience in Glens Falls, so it really does contribute to the economic value of our community,” Glen Falls Mayor Jack Diamond said.
Downtown businesses are prepared and ready for the crowds
"We’re planning on having our doors wide open,” said Shirley Nelson, general manager of Nine Authentic Goods. “We will certainly be festive and ready for people to come."
"We’ve extended our hours. Normally we close at nine o'clock. We're going to stay open until ten or until people stop coming," said Frank Volkomer, owner of The Chocolate Mill.
While taking in all the balloons may be a sight for sore eyes, the entire family can participate in activities throughout the duration of the celebration
"Beyond the balloon activities, they'll be plenty of food vendors, nonprofit food vendors, a craft fair, kids games, static air craft displays, lots going on besides the balloons, but obviously the balloons are our draw,” said Donahue.
For those of you who have not yet been to the balloon festival to understand the magnitude of the size of these balloons, the envelope, although not yet inflated, stands at nearly 80 feet and the basket alone stands at ten feet.
In honor of a monumental anniversary, a special sky spectacular is planned
"We have our premier anniversary event this year, Saturday evening, which we're calling 40 for 40, where we'll have 40 balloons illuminating the sky in the dark, so it will be a spectacle to see these balloons on the ground just lighting up the sky,” Donahue said.
And the best part of it all?
"This event is free of charge. It costs you nothing but your time to come here,” Donahue said.
The celebratory weekend is staffed entirely by local volunteers donating their time and festivities will continue through Sunday.