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This is a once in a lifetime experience!
You asked for it so here it is. Alamance County Balloon Festival is back! ALCOVETS is hosting this event to raise funds to support our local veterans and fund the building of the Chesnut Ridge Retreat campus. We hope you will support this worthy cause by volunteering, participating as a vendor, purchasing tickets for employees, sponsoring the event, or attending with your family. We welcome other nonprofits and community agencies who would like to help participate as a fundraising opportunity for their organization. We hope to make the Balloon Festival a truly unforgettable event, one that has a tremendous impact on the wellbeing of the citizens of Alamance County and surrounding locations.
The festival will feature hot air balloon exhibition and mass ascensions in addition to live entertainment, a kids’ zone, craft vendors, a 5k Race bike show and car show. We look forward to seeing everyone and appreciate everyone supporting our local veterans.
There’s an old saying that what goes up must come down. While it’s usually applied figuratively, that timeworn principle will have real-world implications this weekend when more than 20 hot-air balloons take to the skies of Alamance County during the 1st ALCOVETS Hot Air Balloon Festival, September 9-11, 2022.
The balloons will launch in the early morning and late afternoons beginning Friday afternoon September 9th for a total of five windows when balloonists will be looking for a place to land.
If you’d like to identify your property as a friendly landing zone for hot-air balloons, organizers are asking people to lay out a white bed sheet in an open area so balloonists can spot them from the sky.
“The ultimate priority of every flight is to have a safe landing someplace where the landowner is happy to see you,” said Marsha Treacy, Hot Air Balloon coordinator.
“Generally speaking, landowners are happy 99 percent of the time, but we’d love to see lots of white sheets out there because then we absolutely know they’re going to be friendly.”
When looking for a place to land, Treacy said balloon pilots do their best to be respectful by avoiding fields planted with crops and pastures inhabited by animals. Ideal landing spots include neighborhood streets with underground power lines, business parks with empty parking lots and cul-de-sacs and, of course, open fields on farms, near schools and in public parks. Finding a friendly and suitable landing area is an everyday occurrence with hot-air balloon flying.
Balloons took to the skies beginning in 1783 after French brothers Joseph and Jacques Montgolfier discovered that a cloth bag would float if filled with the vapors from a fire.
In fact, the balloonist’s tradition of celebrating each landing with Champagne toast dates back to the dawn of human flight, when early French aviators would have their balloons destroyed by peasants who mistook the modern wonders for fire-breathing monsters or demons sent from the king.
“The pilots started leaving the ground with a bottle of Champagne in the basket with them, and when they landed, they would offer to share that with the farmer who owned the land,” Treacy said.