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About THE ADIRONDACK BALLOON FESTIVAL

The Adirondack Balloon Festival is a not-for-profit organization run strictly by volunteers and there is no paid staff.  We rely on our local community for support to put on this event.   We strongly encourage you to support the businesses who support us and advertise in our event program.  We also encourage you to purchase an official program or other event merchandise which will help us to keep this wonderful event going strong for generations to come.

HISTORY OF THE ADIRONDACK BALLOON FESTIVAL

In the early 1970's Warren County’s tourism and publicity office was looking for an idea for an event which would bring visitors to the region after Labor Day.  At that time, there were relatively few hot air balloons in the nation.  One such balloonist, John Marsden from Manchester, VT shared photos of his balloon with some visionary Glens Falls residents, including Walter Grishkot, andthe Adirondack Balloon Festival was born shortly thereafter.

The early days of the Festival were held at Adirondack Community College, know known as SUNY Adirondack.  As the event grew, a larger site was needed to accommodate the growing number of balloons and spectators.  That new site was the Warren County airport, where the festival continues to be held today.  

The festival is a not-for-profit organization, which is very rare for an event of its size and stature.  Fundingfor the event is raised by volunteers and the event would not be possible without the tremendous community support we receive.  For what will now be its 45th year in 2017, the event remains open to the public, FREE OF CHARGE

Through the years, the event has drawn international exposure for the Glens Falls region with relationships being formed with cities like Saga, Japan and Gatineau, Quebec.  Our event traditionally draws balloonists from across the United States but also internationally based pilots as well.

Today our event draws upwards of 150,000 people over 4 days.  We have been named one of the Top 100 events in North America and have received accolades from the Weather Channel, Food Network and media coverage including Associated Press articles as well as New York Times.

After the death of founder Walter Grishkot in 2011, a foundation was set up in his memory to raise funds to promote interest in education in the sciences of aviation and aerospace. Please visit AdkBalloonFestivalFoundation.org to support the Walter Grishkot Memorial Scholarship Fund. Thank you for your donation!

FAQ 

WHO WE ARE -  Adirondack Balloon Festival is a not-for-profit organization run strictly by volunteers.  We rely on our local community for support to put on this event.   We strongly encourage you to support the businesses who support us or via direct donation to the festival or even purchase some great apparel.  

SUPPORT US!!! - The event is FREE for all to enjoy. Please support the festival through a donation or purchase an apparel item as these proceeds are into keeping this event a fun, free community funded spectacular!

WEATHER – All ballooning activities are weather dependent. Ballooning is a fair weather sport. Balloons will not fly in the rain. Winds must also be light in order for balloons to fly safely. Ideal conditions are for wind speeds to be 3-5 MPH. As wind speeds increase beyond 8-10 it is unlikely balloons will be able to fly. Flight updates are provided on our Facebook site and on twitter for each flight and is shared shortly after the weather and decisions are shared with the pilots. Please be considerate on our Facebook page! 

We understand the weather can be frustrating but safety always comes first in our decision making. We are all volunteers , we are as disappointed as you are when they don’t fly.

BALLOON RIDES - The Festival does not schedule or book rides. If you refer to the "BALLOONS & RIDES" section of the website (when available), you will find details and pictures of our participating pilots and their balloons. Many of our participating pilots will book rides independently. If their phone number and or email is listed, then they are willing to accept passengers. You can expect to pay in the range of $195-$225 per person for a balloon ride however each pilot sets his own price.

BALLOON FLIGHTS- Balloon flights occur just after sunrise or close to sunset, refer to our schedule of events for times.  Balloons do not fly during the day.  You should plan on being present at flight times if you wish to see the balloons.

CAMPING – Unfortunately camping is not allowed at the festival. There are many private and state operated sites nearby that could accommodate you.

RECREATIONAL VEHICLES – SELF CONTAINED RV’s are allowed at the festival. In order to participate you must join the Northeast RV’ers ballooning club to participate in a designated Parking area. Please visit their link on top of page as the Adirondack Balloon Festival does not run the RV'ers. 

PARKING AND ADMISSION – admission to the event is FREE!!  General parking is plentiful and free as well. VIP parking passes are available. Handicapped parking is available in both general parking as well as VIP Parking. This events draws thousands of people so traffic backups can be extensive. Please plan accordingly, especially during peak times of 5am-9am and 3pm – 8pm.  Link to purchase VIP parking passes will be available on HOME page of website closer to the event. Please note, these passes are not sold by the festival and will be purchased through Warren County.

RV PARKING -  RV’s are welcome and we encourage them.  For more information, click on the link toward the right top of our home page for detailed information (Northeast RV link)  All RV’s must be self contained.  CAMPING IS NOT ALLOWED ON THE GROUNDS.

CHARTER BUS- We welcome and encourage Charter and tour bus companies to attend the event. We offer a designated parking area, relatively close to the center of activities. You are welcome to attend for one launch or attend the entire weekend. The links below allow you to pre-purchase your Bus pass for either a single day or for the weekend. We encourage prepayment, however busses will be allowed to pay onsite. 

Charter companies seeking more information about other activities and events in our region are encouraged to visit Warren County's Tourism website at Visitlakegeorge.com.  Link to Charter tours will be available via link on HOME page of this website.

CRAFT FAIR – The craft vendors are organized and sponsored by the Zonta Club. Please see the craft fair link for more details. Please do not contact the festival directly regarding the craft fair.

FOOD VENDORS - Priority status is given to locally based not-for-profit organizations to be food vendors at the event. This way the proceeds remain and are reinvested in our local community. Vendors may inquire about participation for future festivals by filling out our online form. When form is released, it will be available on the home page. Regarding entertainment such as bands, space is limited. Please send us a message on Facebook regarding interest.

PETS NOT ALLOWED – We love pets too but they can be spooked by the loud pitch of the balloon burners. In addition, with large crowds they can be a safety hazard. This applies to both Crandall Park and Airport launches. Please be kind an courteous to the festival and others by following this request.

DRONES NOT ALLOWED - Due to safety concerns, any kind of drones are not permitted at any of the launches including Crandall Park as well as Floyd Bennett Memorial Airport.

SMOKING NOT ALLOWED – Balloons use propane gas to make their flame. As this gas is flammable, smoking could endanger the balloonist and all spectators as well. So we politely ask that you refrain from smoking on the launch field while the balloonists are preparing to fly.

HOW TO DRESS – dress in layers and boots. September is the start of fall and cooler temperatures. Bring a flashlight as well if you plan on coming for the moonglow.



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