Sunday, July 8, 2018



Bigger Balloon Fest soars at new home

RHINEBECK - Thousands gathered at the Dutchess County Fairgrounds on Friday and Saturday and are doing it again today to gaze and amaze at the 27th Annual Hudson Valley Hot Air Balloon Festival. 

The ever-growing event was moved from Poughkeepsie to the fairgrounds this year to accommodate the larger crowds and additional balloonists.

The clear skies and cooler temperatures late Friday and on Saturday created perfect conditions to launch the balloons

The event is sponsored by the Dutchess County Regional Chamber of Commerce and features free parking, tethered balloon rides, live music, food and family activities.  The last of the weekend's mass balloon launch will take place at 6 pm today, weather permitting.

The event drew more than 25,000 spectators in 2017.  For 2018, there are more than 100 planned balloon launches at the fairgrounds which will allow for 360-degree views of the balloons. 

According to Chamber President Frank Castella, Jr., "the Fairgrounds has it all - from a safe, secure location, to parking and other facilities needed to make this event a true community festival."


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