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Balloonfest to go on with BMX performances, more

MARK NANCE/Sun-Gazette Aviator Paramotor school manager AJ Goin tries a few stunts as he cruises over farms near the Jersey Shore airport Friday.

HUGHESVILLE — “What started as a hot air balloon festival to raise Rotary awareness and membership has grown into an event that includes committee members from other organizations who choose to be a part of something that brings enjoyment,” Sandy Spencer, festival event chairperson, said.

The 14th Balloonfest, Air Show & So Much More will happen “rain or shine” from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sept. 12, and from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sept. 13, and will include various different events and vendors for attendees to enjoy, including ATV and BMX performances, a laser light show and air show performances.

CDC recommended guidelines will be put in place.

“Face masks will be required for entry,” Spencer said.

Other precautions that will be taken during the festival include strong encouragement of social distancing including six-feet line distance markers, directing one way traffic flow through buildings, limited seating throughout fairgrounds and in grandstands, and extra hand sanitizer stations throughout the fairgrounds and upon entry.

“We will have signage reminding people of those protocols and ask that anyone who is not feeling well stay home and join us next year,” Spencer said.

All air show performances and balloon events are weather permitting.

Eric Farewell, Paradigm founder and leader, will be a part of the Balloonfest air show for the second year.

“This is the only air show we agreed to this year because we had a wonderful time last year,” he said.

Paradigm’s air show will have their team flying in formations with the paramotor aircraft.

“We launch right in front of the crowd. … We run right into the sky,” Farewell said.

Attendees do not want to miss it.

Food vendors of pizza, hot sausages, french fries and sweets like whoopie pies and ice cream will be at the fairgrounds, as well as craft vendors, exhibitors and non-profits including the Army National Guard.

“Along with the committee members, who are all volunteers and work throughout the year planning and organizing, we could not do this without the help of the additional volunteers who help just for the weekend, or the dedicated sponsors who offer dollars, services and products,” Spencer added.

A full list of events and the times they are scheduled can be found on the Balloonfest website, www.balloonfestairshow.com.

“We also encourage all to follow us on Facebook for regular updates,” Spencer said.

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