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Weather grounds hot air balloon launch

August 05, 2012|By JENNIFER FITCH | waynesboro@herald-mail.com
  • Spectators watch balloons take flight Friday in this file photo from the first day of the hot air balloon festival at Green Grove Gardens near Greencastle, Pa.
File photo

GREENCASTLE, Pa. — Organizers canceled the final day of the three-day hot air balloon festival at Green Grove Gardens when the weather worsened Sunday.

“Everything was canceled because of the storms,” said David Robinson of Windjammer Balloons.

The decision was made at about 3:30 p.m. Sunday during the first of two lines of storms, Robinson said.

He called people who had reservations for the dusk launch.

“Most people who answered their phones understood because of the weather,” Robinson said.

Still, Robinson said he was disappointed that the Saturday evening and Sunday evening launches did not happen. Winds prompted the launch cancellation Saturday.

Balloon operators packed their rigs into trailers and left the Antrim Township, Pa., site shortly after the decision was made Sunday.

Emails, phone calls and verbal feedback all indicate the festival has supporters, Robinson said.

“Everybody is asking me about next year,” he said.

A similar festival was held at Green Grove Gardens in 2010. Robertson said it will be up to the event center’s management to decide if and when they want to have another.

Green Grove Gardens Manager Keith McCleaf did not return a phone call seeking comment Sunday evening.

Robinson said he enjoyed the balloon glow Saturday night. Balloon operators launched their balloons close to the ground, where the winds were not as strong, and used the flames to illuminate the colorful balloons in the night sky.

“It was just a lot of fun,” Robinson said.

In addition to the balloon launches, the festival had 40 craft and food vendors, a children’s activities area with carnival games, sand art, barrel train rides, inflatables and pony rides. An estimated 5,000 people attended.

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