Monday, July 9, 2018

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Annual Dutchess Balloon Fest draws records crowds

RHINEBECK - Thousands gathered at the Dutchess County Fairgrounds over the weekend to gaze and amaze at the 27th Annual Hudson Valley Hot Air Balloon Festival.

Residents on Dutchess and Ulster counties lined the shorelines to view the colorful balloons.

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


Clear skies and cooler temperatures for most of the weekend 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 took place Sunday evening.

The event drew more than 25,000 spectators in 2017.  For 2018, there were more than 100 balloons launched at the fairgrounds which offered a 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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