Hudson Valley Hot-Air Balloon Festival takes flight this weekend at Dutchess Fairgrounds

Friday, July 12-Sunday, July 14: Want to take a flight in a hot-air balloon, or go aloft on a tethered ride? No problem. A helicopter ride more your speed? Yeah, you can do that, too. Or do you just want to take in the spectacle of more than 100 hot-air balloons launching throughout the weekend? Or view the Illumination Moon Glow on Friday and Saturday evenings: a stationary display of hot-air balloons with their burners fired up, glowing against the night sky? A greater number than ever of the eyecatching “shape balloons” are expected this year – which have included lighthouses, cartoon animals and even a tuxedo balloon – and the Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome will get into the act, too, with an antique airplane display and flyovers (wind and weather permitting, as is true of all flight activities over the weekend).