This coming Labor Day weekend features the 35th anniversary of the New York State Festival of Balloons at the municipal airport in the Livingston County community of Dansville. Six launches are scheduled, beginning Friday evening at 6:00pm and continuing both Saturday and Sunday at 6 a.m. and 6 p.m. The final launch will take place Monday morning at 6:00am. Of course, all balloon launches are weather dependent. Admission is $5.00 per person and children under 12 are admitted free.
The festival also includes arts-and-crafts vendors, an international food court, free entertainment, rides and amusements for the kids, as well as a car show for the grownups and tethered balloon rides for everyone. The event is organized and staffed entirely by volunteers. The excitement begins with a free balloon glow at the Brae Burn Golf Course on Red Jacket Street just after dark on Thursday, September 1. Up to a dozen multi-colored balloons emblazoned against the night sky is quite a sight to see.
The goal of the event is to provide entertainment and enjoyment to spectators, attract visitors to the Dansville community, and share festival profits with local charities. On average, 35,000 spectators have visited the Dansville valley in years past to enjoy the festival. The beauty of an early morning flight is breathtaking as balloons gracefully rise above the valley and a mass evening launch is simply spectacular.
The Dansville Municipal Airport is located directly adjacent to Interstate 390 Exit 5, making access easy from both the north and the south. The festival entrance is on Maple Street, which runs along the south side of the airport.
To see the entire schedule of events for this coming Labor Day weekend, visit www.nysfob.com. And to read more about the New York State Festival of Balloons in the Fall 2005 issue of Life in the Finger Lakes magazine, click on this link: http://www.lifeinthefingerlakes.com/up-up-and-away/.