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Chester County Balloon Festival draws 25,000

06/28/2016 01:11PM ● Published by Richard Gaw

Gallery: Chester County Balloon Festival 2016 [11 Images] Click any image to expand.

By Richard L. Gaw
Staff Writer

Blessed with seasonably great weather and a full itinerary of events, the tenth annual Chester County Balloon Festival drew an estimated 25,000 visitors to the New Garden Flying Field last weekend.
The expanded three-day schedule included the flight – and illumination – of more than 20 hot-air balloons, whose appearance at the festival was highlighted by spectacular balloon glow shows throughout the weekend. 
In addition, the festival included plane and helicopter rides, scuba diving lessons, zipline rides, food and craft vendors, and remote control plane demonstrations. The Hops & Grapes Wine and Beer Garden featured wines from Galer Estate Vineyard and Winery and Harvest Ridge Winery, and beer from Victory Brewing Company.
June 25 drew more than 15,000 to a full day of events, which ended with a fireworks show over the flying field. Festival organizers kept careful watch over the weather forecasts for the weekend, largely because they feared a repeat of last year's festival, which was affected by rain, thunder and heavy winds that cut short many of the balloon-related events. 
“Aviation events are very dependent upon the weather, and Saturday, the weather was picture perfect,” said Jon Martin, Flying Field general manager. “The balloons departed throughout the day. On Sunday, the weather was a little windy, so while the balloons were not able to launch, they remained tethered, and hovered over the airport. It looked spectacular.”
The festival dedicated proceeds from the event to the Chester County Hero Fund and other local community groups.
To contact Staff Writer Richard L. Gaw, e-mail rgaw@chestercounty.com.





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