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.
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!
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!
UNION TOWNSHIP VOLUNTEER FIRE DEPARTMENT