Western Pennsylvania Balloon Quest: Field Trip Friday

Every so often, my mind used to wander to a time when, as a child, we’d been coming back from my Dad’s company picnic, and had the pleasure and surprise to see numerous beautiful hot air balloons floating through the sky above us.  We’d stopped and taken the time to enjoy them, and the memory has lingered throughout the years.

Brayden just adores looking at Balloons (especially shiny Mylar ones) and I thought he might think that seeing hot air balloons was pretty cool too. It turned out that I started googling local hot air balloon festivals at just the right time, as our local one was just the next weekend after my search!  The Western Pennsylvania Balloon Quest  is an annual event in New Castle, PA on the fourth weekend in July every year, and is done in partnership with their local fire department. It’s very well established, having been operating since 1989.

Pennsylvania hot air balloon

We arrived right on time to see about fifteen balloons inflate, lift off, and drift over the horizon.  All in all, it was a pretty quick experience but one WELL worth the hour drive up there – we’ll definitely visit again!

Hot Air Balloons New CastlePA balloon festival

From our experience here’s a few things I’d share:
- Get there early!  There were a billion people and they all have to park.  We were so close to missing the action that next year we’ll definitely get there earlier.
- Many people bring lawn chairs and settle in.  There’s tons of room to get a good view so there’s plenty of room for all.
- Bring your camera!  People were all over the place with DSLRs.  So glad I had my camera with me for some beautiful shots you don’t see every day!
- The event happens all weekend with a balloon glow on Thursday night, and launches Friday Night, Saturday morning and evening, and Sunday morning and evening.  Plenty of time for everyone to check it out!

website: http://wpaballoonquest.webs.com/

address
UNION TOWNSHIP VOLUNTEER FIRE DEPARTMENT

304 SOUTH SCOTLAND LANE
NEW CASTLE, PA 16101

After the balloons drifted out of site, we checked out the carnival happening on site.  There were numerous rides and food vendors, but nothing really “for us” with tiny kids that I am still super cautious with.  We did make our way to the fountain and duck pond right on site and had a great time checking out the ducks and munching on a snack.


We had a fabulous time and will definitely be making this a yearly tradition.  Perfect event for free family fun in the Pittsburgh area!

Chestnut Grove Academy Field Trip Friday Blog Hop



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