ANDERSON – Colorful hot air balloons will soar over Anderson this weekend in a last hurrah to summer. The graceful giants will quietly fill the skies after Balloons Over Killbuck kicks into gear Friday afternoon.
The festival runs through Sunday, with plenty to see and do for everyone in the family. The event takes place at Anderson’s Municipal Airport, where parking is free and admission to the event is just $3. The event benefits Riley’s Children’s Hospital.
This is the third year for the festival, and the second time it has been held at the airport. Thirty balloons are expected to be on the field for the competition event sanctioned by the Balloon Federation of America. Pilots who compete can garner points that will ultimately determine Indiana’s state champion.
Last year’s event suffered from poor weather, but event director Bob Owens is optimistic that there will be no rain and winds will favor the balloons this time around. He said that winds must be less than 10 miles per hour for the balloons to fly. If Mother Nature cooperates, balloons will be up, up and away for several competition flights during the weekend.
The festival also holds some airborne opportunities for visitors. Pilots will be offering 45-minute balloon flights for $200. Tethered rides will also be available to festival goers. Cost is $12 for adults and $7 for kids 7 and under. Helicopter and plane rides will also be available.
Both Friday and Saturday night, the balloons will be on the ground for a special spectacle.
“For most people, that’s one of the neatest things — the balloon glow,” said Owens. During the glow, the balloons remain earthbound but they’ll be inflated and lit up, with all their fantastic colors glowing in the night sky. It’s a great time to check out the balloons, get pictures and talk to pilots. For kids, it’s also time to go trick or treating, since the pilots will have treats for the kids.