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Second hot air balloon festival to take flight over Greencastle

July 24, 2012|By JENNIFER FITCH | waynesboro@herald-mail.com
  • Balloonists take flight during the first hot air balloon festival at Green Grove Gardens near Greencastle, Pa., in this July 31, 2010, file photo.
File photo

GREENCASTLE, Pa. — An upcoming festival planned in Antrim Township, Pa., will feature entertainment both on the ground and in the air.

Green Grove Gardens off Pa. 16 will host its second hot air balloon festival Aug. 3 to 5. Planning continues for the family-friendly festival that drew thousands when first held two years ago.

Although the festival’s focus is on hot air balloons, games and activities are planned to entertain crowds when the balloons are grounded. David Robinson of Windjammer Balloons cautioned that flights are very weather dependent.

“Balloonists, we are so susceptible to weather. (If there is) no precipitation and light winds, then everyone will be a happy camper,” Robinson said, adding that balloons can only be used around sunrise and sunset.

Twelve balloons from across the Northeast will be launched from Green Grove Gardens at sunset with two to 10 guests each. Those rides are priced at $175 per person and should be reserved ahead of time.

“Everything is based on the outside air temperature and weight,” Robinson said.

Taking a balloon through southern Franklin County is a particularly nice ride because of the way winds funnel through the valley, Robinson said.

“You’re moving slowly enough to take everything in,” he said.

A tethered balloon will allow for $10 launches less dependent on weather and time of day.

The balloonists are scheduled to participate in a “balloon glow” Saturday evening after their last guest trips. They will take six or seven balloons straight up and use the burners to illuminate the differently colored balloons.

Another feature for Saturday will be helicopter rides, Green Grove Gardens manager Joanna Boock said.

“We are also going to have skydivers from Chambersburg Skydiving Center jumping in on Saturday,” she said.

The festival will feature craft and food vendors, magic shows, a reptile show on Friday and Sunday, a vespers service Sunday and carnival-style games. Organizers are still working to determine if they can host a fireworks display Friday night.

If you go ...
What: Green Grove Gardens Hot Air Balloon Festival
When: 5 p.m. to dark, Friday, Aug. 3; noon to dark, Saturday, Aug. 4; 3 p.m. to dark, Sunday, Aug. 5
Where: Pa. 16, east of Greencastle, Pa.
Admission costs $10 per vehicle Friday and $15 per vehicle Saturday and Sunday. A weekend pass is available for $25.

For more information, visit www.greengrovegardensballoonfestival.net. Call 717-577-2482 to reserve a ride.

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