Eyes to the sky at the Hudson Valley Hot-Air Balloon Festival

(Photo by Harry Pherson)

(Photo by Harry Pherson)

Keep your eyes to the skies this weekend, when the Dutchess County Regional Chamber of Commerce launches its 25th annual Dutchess County Hot-Air Balloon Festival. The high-summer event runs from Friday through Sunday, July 10 through 12. Approximately 100 balloon launches are planned throughout the weekend, using a record 25 balloons from across the country.

On Friday and Saturday evenings at 6 p.m., mass launches are planned on the banks of the Hudson River from the area just south of the Shadows-on-the-Hudson restaurant in Poughkeepsie. There will also be what are called “moon glows” – in which balloons are fired up but remain earthbound – at the river site on Saturday evening at 8:30 p.m.

Early birds can witness the colorful spectacle on Saturday and Sunday mornings at 6 a.m., when mass launches are planned from the Dutchess County Airport in Wappingers Falls.

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Admission is free. In addition to food and entertainment, observers who want to become participants can also go airborne: the chance to get a bird’s-eye view of the Valley. Balloon flights are available to the public for a fee.
For further details, call (845) 454-1700 or visit www.dcrcoc.org/balloonfestival.

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