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Adk. Balloon Fest attracts crowd, continues through Sunday

Katelyn Bradley, her sister Karen and parents Connie and Ryan Bradley -- all of Hudson Falls -- watch liftoffs at the Adirondack Balloon Festival's opening ceremonies held Thursday Aug. 20 in Crandall Park, Glens Falls. The festival continues through Sunday with various activities at the Floyd Bennett Memorial Airport in Queensbury, plus an event-ending liftoff Sunday afternoon in Crandall Park. Read accompanying story for details.

Katelyn Bradley, her sister Karen and parents Connie and Ryan Bradley -- all of Hudson Falls -- watch liftoffs at the Adirondack Balloon Festival's opening ceremonies held Thursday Aug. 20 in Crandall Park, Glens Falls. The festival continues through Sunday with various activities at the Floyd Bennett Memorial Airport in Queensbury, plus an event-ending liftoff Sunday afternoon in Crandall Park. Read accompanying story for details. Photo by Thom Randall.

— "We got totally hooked on ballooning," she said. Since 1997, their own balloon has been among the 100-plus craft featured at the festival.

"This year, the crowd is way larger than usual," Pluta added. "There was a traffic jam at 3 p.m., two hours before the ceremonies started. People love this festival, because its up-close and personal."

Saturday and Sunday's activities at the balloon festival, located at the Floyd Bennett Memorial Airport in Queensbury, include the inflation and flight (weather permitting) of up to 100 balloons, a craft fair, with 30-plus vendors, and displays of aircraft. Breakfast is available through 11 a.m. Children's activities include a rock-climbing wall, bounce houses, and kite-flying. The Jonathan Newell Band will be performing their original rock music from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday.

At 8 p.m. Saturday, up to 40 balloons will illuminate the sky in the festival's Moonglow event.

A mass ascension of balloons in honor of Walt Grishkot is planned for 6:30 a.m. Sunday at the airport. Worship services on site will be held at 8 a.m. and 9 a.m.

The balloon festival continues Sunday mid-afternoon through about 6 p.m. back in Crandall Park, Glens Falls, off Glen St. with vendors, musical entertainment, and the liftoff of 20 or more balloons (weather permitting), as well as closing ceremonies.

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