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Athens Third Annual Hot Air Balloon Festival Takes Flight

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Eli Hogan
Hot Air Balloons Sitting in the Sandy Creek Park Field for the 3rd Annual Hot Air Balloon Festival


On Saturday, Sep. 3, Athens Clarke County held their third annual hot air balloon festival aptly named “Above Athens Balloon Festival”. The festival was held at Sandy Creek Park on 400 Bob Holman Road, Athens Georgia. It started at 3 p.m. and lasted until 8:30 p.m. where all the balloons floated upwards and blew their flames for their closing act, the balloon glow.

It wasn’t just all about balloons though. There were other activities, all free of charge. In the back of the fairgrounds, children could meet their favorite superheroes like Superman and Spiderman. Other attractions included food trucks where patrons could enjoy hot funnel cakes and other fair foods.


The main attraction, riding the hot air balloons, came at a cost of $25 in cash only. One could expect to stand in line for around an hour for a five to ten minute float in the air. If the line for the balloons wasn’t bad enough, getting to the fair was a hassle for many as well. Traffic was slow moving and took many festival goers around forty minutes to an hour just to get to the park entrance. It then took about another ten minutes to find parking and walk to the fairground.

With such a huge turnout, Athens Clarke County will hold another balloon festival next year as it seems to be a big hit with people. The festival drew large crowds of children, teenagers and adults, all wanting to experience the sensation of flying high in the sky. All the balloons at the festival are owned by one big family and are expected to participate next year as well.



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About the Contributor
Eli Hogan, Staff Writer
Junior majoring in mass communications with a focus on photojournalism. I've been doing photography for around 3-4 years now, traveled around the world, and most recently worked at Glacier National Park in Montana for around 3 months.
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