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12th Annual Balloon Fest, Air Show and So Much More To Be Held This Saturday

The skies will be alive with the sight of beautiful billowing balloons, various aerial acts, and on the ground will be mingling the roar of a heavy equipment rodeo machinery when the 12th Annual Balloonfest, Air Show and Much More” is presented this Saturday, September 15 at the Lycoming County Fairgrounds in Hughesville, by the

The skies will be alive with the sight of beautiful billowing balloons, various aerial acts, and on the ground will be mingling the roar of a heavy equipment rodeo machinery when the 12th Annual Balloonfest, Air Show and Much More” is presented this Saturday, September 15 at the Lycoming County Fairgrounds in Hughesville, by the Rotary Clubs of Lycoming County.

Weather permitting, the day will start with a hot air balloon launch, (approximately 6:00 a.m.). Rides with the 12 commercially licensed, high-hour pilots are available for Friday evening, Saturday morning, Saturday evening, and Sunday morning launch times. The Re/Max balloon (sponsored by Re/Max Edge), is joining them this year and, weather permitting, the tethered balloon piloted by Chris Summers, will also be on-field again. Rebecca Elkins returns to the event as Balloonmeister and she, “orchestrates all things balloons.”

Gates will open at 10:00 a.m., and they have a full schedule of activities planned for the day along with many vendors (food, crafters, exhibitors, non-profits, etc.) for you to visit. ATV races by Central PA Sleds & Treads will start the day along with scheduled shows/events such as Dialed Action BMX, the heavy equipment rodeo, puppets, a magician, performers, helicopter rides, Cardboard Creations, Huey helicopter display, (sponsored by American Legion Post 104), and “so much more.” Air show performance times will be 11:00 a.m., 3:00 p.m., and approximately 7:15 p.m. for the night show, all weather-permitting. Stunt pilot Scott Francis, skydivers from Team Fastrax, and aerobatic flight team, Lima Lima, are the air show performers joining the event this year.

According to Sandy Spencer, Event Chair, new this year is a heavy equipment rodeo which will start at 1:00 p.m. Teams of four (individuals can also register), will compete in three skills demonstrations on three different machines. Participants will be judged by timing and skill, and there are three different levels of participation: Amateur — you use a riding mower to mow your lawn, Moderate — you’ve used heavy equipment, but not as a professional, and Professional — you work in the industry as an operator. Spencer noted, “Special thanks to Justin Weaver and his team from WTL, GOH, and PCT for
finding equipment and everything needed.” You can sign-up online or at the event.

The day’s activities will end with an exciting night show starting about 7:15 p.m. with Team Fastrax skydivers with pyrotechnics and jumping in the dark. Lima Lima will also perform their night show with lights on their wings and trailing smoke. All air show events are coordinated by David Schultz, Airboss, and his team.

Following the night air show, the day will end with an incredible laser light show by Accent Lighting Productions choreographed to a soundtrack by Datman Productions. The light show will include a tribute to Tom Stoldoski, a hot air balloon pilot who was a well-loved participant in this event each year, who tragically died after a non-balloon related accident this past winter.

“Although some of our activities of the day are ‘weather permitting,’ this is a rain or shine event with much to see and do even without a perfect forecast. Our number one priority is the always the safety of our performers and attendees,” Spencer told Webb Weekly.

For more information, (ticket prices and ticket outlet locations, tentative schedule, balloon rides, heavy equipment rodeo information/forms, vendor information, etc.), please visit http://www.LCRotary.com. Their Facebook page also shares the latest news and information.

Spencer said a special “thank you” goes out to all of their corporate sponsors who donated services, product, dollars, and more to allow this to be a unique, family-friendly, event with first-class performers, and yet keep it affordable for all. Thanks also to the committee, (all volunteers) who work hard all year to plan, organize, and present something that they hope brings happiness to their attendees. And they also have volunteers who offer time just for the day to work at the gates, help clean the grounds, or offer time or services to help bring you a good experience (if you would like to participate as a volunteer, please let them know!). And, they could not do this without the Lycoming County Fair Association or Hughesville Fire Company who help keep the event safe and offer it a “home.”

“When this event was started, it was to raise Rotary awareness and exemplify the Rotary motto, ‘Service Above Self’ in our community,” Spencer said. “That is still our goal — we want to offer a day that will help you and your family/friends see there is much good in our world.” This event is a joint effort of all the Rotary Clubs in the county, including, Williamsport, Hughesville, Montgomery, and Muncy.

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