ANGOLA — After a couple of years of windy and/or rainy weather for Angola Balloons Aloft, the 10th anniversary edition of the event that attracts thousands of visitors to Steuben County lifted off in perfect weather Friday.
About 15 balloons launched for the media flight, which took off from the Meijer parking lot and grounds early Friday, right after a spectacular pre-dawn flight in the dark by event Competition Director Phil Clinger.
“After several disappointing years of not being able to fly our media flight, (Friday) morning was picture perfect in all ways. Winds, weather and fabulous special shape balloons made for an amazing morning sky,” said Marsha Drewes, who along with her husband, Walt, are hot air balloon coordinators and the original directors of the event. Tim Crooks, retired Angola Police detective, is now the event director.
All four special shape balloons launched Friday, including Cynthia Seal, Kermie the Frog, Owlbert Einstein and Oggy the Friendly Dragon, which was the only balloon to land at the grounds of Angola High School where the event is being staged.
There will be several events on the schedule today, which is the main day of the event. All events take place at Angola High School.
There will be an evening glow tonight and competition flights this morning and evening. A final competition flight will be held Sunday morning.
This year’s Angola Balloons Aloft attracted 34 balloons. As usual, there will be tether balloon rides and actual balloon rides available for a fee.