This article was updated on September 1, 2020 for the current years event in relation to the COVID 19 pandemic.
Get a new perspective at the 29th Annual Hudson Valley Balloon Festival, this year in a drive-in style. To borrow a rather profound perspective from Alberto Santos Dumont, “The balloon seems to stand still in the air while the earth flies past underneath." Dumont didn’t invent the hot air balloon, but he contributed to a great deal of understanding and inventing in the field of aviation.
A ride in a balloon at The Hudson Valley Balloon Festival is an opportunity to take in this perspective, which is how awesome it feels with the earth below you and the beautiful colors and shapes of the other balloons surrounding you in the sky.
The balloon festival was started with the intention to bring community together but it has also led to attracting a great many balloonists. The balloonists each have a story to complement their passion for flying. Take the balloon Aussie Heir. Steve Flanders is the balloonist who designed this after this late mother, an Australian war bride, making him literally the Aussie Heir.
The best dressed balloon in the sky is the world’s largest Tuxedo balloon, Sir Prize, who balloonist Ken Leota flies as the prized owner.
Some balloons also have their own demographic. Like Dingbat, with his rounded nose, or even Pea-Nut, a -- forgive me -- ballooned out elephant.
Balloon launches typically take three hours from start to finish. Champagne toasts in the sky are permitted… but let’s all agree that is only for those looking for a little romance. But what might be the most charming part of the Hudson Valley Balloon Festival is the Moon Glow. This stationery display takes place at night. Once the balloons are fired up in the dark, they start to glow.
The ecosystem of fun around a balloon fest is nothing without the attendant attractions like hayrides, petting zoos, helicopter rides, games, live music and food and drink.
The Hudson Valley Balloon Festival has grown into a popular festival over the years, not just stitching the community together but attracting travelers from New York City and even across the world. The festival is organized by the Dutchess County Regional Chamber of Commerce and is held in Dutchess County Fairgrounds in the first week of July.
However this year the 29th Hudson Valley Hot Air Balloon Festival will be at Tymor Park, Union Vale and will be in a drive-in style on account of the COVID 19 crisis. Health and safety is top priority and hence the reformat. Choose your launch reservation in advance due to parking restrictions.
A video of the balloon launches is the most tranquil thing you'll see today.