Carolina BalloonFest Weekend Takes Flight October 16

STATESVILLE, N.C. -- The 42nd annual Carolina BalloonFest takes flight October 16-18, 2015 at the Statesville Regional Airport where over 50 breath-taking hot air balloons and special shapes will launch and decorate the skies of Iredell County. The traditional Balloon Glow, sponsored by Black Automotive Group, will light up Saturday evening to thrill hot air balloon fans.


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Although hot air balloons only twice daily, after dawn and near dusk when the thermal atmosphere is most stable, tethered balloon rides are scheduled to offer riders an abbreviated sensation of flight when elevated approximately 50 ft. above the ground. Weather permitting, hot air balloon flights and tethered balloon rides are purchased direct with participating pilots. A Pilot Meet & Greet is hosted by Carolina's Balloon Association on Saturday and Sunday afternoons; select pilots and crews will set up their gondolas for an hour on the field for guest encounters. Firefly Balloons will set up and host a Balloon Learning Center for hot air balloon enthusiasts!

Throughout the weekend of five scheduled hot air balloon flights, many pilots participate in Sanctioned Competitions, sponsored by Energy United Propane. On Saturday and Sunday mornings, balloons fly over the venue and spectators can observe the pilots' skillfully complete field tasks such as marker drops and a pole ring toss. Pilots at Carolina BalloonFest compete for points to enhance their standings in the national Hot Air Competition Division.

Come Early and Stay Late! In addition to the early morning fly overs and the late afternoon mass ascensions from the venue, there are various activities for the entire family to enjoy. Explore the ever-active Kids Zone, sponsored by AlarmSouth, with inflatables, a bungy jumper, rock climb wall and magicians. Entertainment on Main Stage, sponsored by Wells Fargo, opens Friday afternoon. The coffee house-style 2nd Stage, sponsored by Goodwill offers the talent of local musicians on Saturday and Sunday.

Guests can opt to experience NC Wines & Craft Beer Tasting, sponsored by Wine Maestro Statesville, to complement all the outdoor festivities on Saturday and Sunday. Tickets can be purchased day of event to enjoy this variety of creative offerings.

Register to run with the balloons on Sunday morning in the 5K and Kids Fun Run hosted by Racing Toes Management and sponsored by Thorlos.

Community Appreciation Friday is sponsored by Yadkin Bank & Military Appreciation Sunday (veterans & active military enter free with military service credentials) is sponsored by Piedmont Healthcare.

Admission prices range from $5 to $15. Advance tickets are available to purchase via website and include Early Bird, Advance, Weekend, Patron Package for 2 an Premium Parking. Free admission for children age 12 & younger. Cash only on day-of-event with Park & Ride service. On site festival parking is reserved for advance ticket holders while limited spaces are available.

Hot Air Balloon Flights are scheduled to launch twice daily; early morning & late afternoon. All ballooning activities including static display, tethered rides and balloon flights are weather dependent. The decision to inflate hot air balloons is made just prior to the scheduled ballooning activity. (Winds & weather may seem calm for ground dwellers while unsafe for air travelers.)

Historically, our event attracts tens of thousands of people which results in heavy traffic congestion on Saturday and Sunday afternoons. Due to limited entrance points into the festival and the overwhelming popularity of Carolina BalloonFest, traffic becomes congested.

Guests are advised to PARK by 1 PM on SATURDAY & SUNDAY and plan extra travel time accordingly to allow ample time to arrive inside festival prior to scheduled launch times. There is limited field capacity for festival guests and this event is expected to sell out.

Friday, October 16   3 PM - 8:30 PM  //  Saturday, October 17   7 AM - 8:30 PM  //  Sunday, October 18   7 AM - 6 PM

Carolina BalloonFest soars to benefit local nonprofit organizations. For all festival information, visit CarolinaBalloonFest.com