GREENCASTLE, Pa. -- Green Grove Gardens Operations Manager Keith McCleaf has his sights set high as he readies the event center for its inaugural Hot Air Balloon Show set for July 30 to Aug. 1.
McCleaf said he hopes the balloon show is a unique, family-oriented festival that offers a bird's-eye-view of the facility's more than 40 acres of manicured lawns and gardens and the surrounding countryside.
Festivalgoers will have the chance to rise 125 feet above Green Grove Garden's grounds in a tethered balloon, travel cross-country on a "free flight" balloon ride or simply view the balloons with their feet still firmly on the ground.
This is an opportunity for us to provide the community with a function that is family fun and something they wouldn't see otherwise," McCleaf said. "There's nothing like it in the immediate area."
Planning for the 3-day event started in November, McCleaf said. The first step, he said, was to contact a balloonmeister to oversee all flight activities. David Robinson, of Windjammer Balloons, fit the bill, McCleaf said. In addition to inviting pilots and scheduling flight times, the balloonmeister briefs pilots daily on weather and wind conditions to ensure the flights are safe for balloonists and their passengers.