Hundreds fly sky high at local festival

COLUMBUS, Ga.- Hundreds of people attended The 18th annual Sky High Hot Air Balloon Festival  at Callaway Gardens in Pine Mountain. News 3 spoke with several people who said they drove hours to ride sky high over the Chattahoochee Valley.

Valerie Crank said, “I’m excited to fly sky high and get in the hot air balloon.”

“I just want to see how high it will go and see what it’s like,” said Scott Carl.

Keri Crabtree said, “Riding in it, I’ve never been in one before so I’m excited for this once in a lifetime experience. I’m ready for it!”

Keri Crabtree drove more than an hour to see the hot air balloons and she says the sight of the balloons exceeded her expectations.

“It’s kind of overwhelming when you see it in person. I can’t recall if I’ve ever seen one in person before,” said Crabtree.

Balloon Meister Chuck Norton believes people will forever be intrigued by the site of a hot air balloon.

Norton  said, “The mystique of it because you’ve always heard of it flying around and people want to know how you maneuver that balloon and get to point A to point B.”

Although the balloons were scheduled to go up around 6 p.m., they were delayed a couple hours because of the weather.

“Winds are ten miles per hour which is too much because as we go up you’re going to catch that sheer which will push in on the balloon and create a low pressure. If you’re flying it will suck you up and drop you all of a sudden,” said Norton.

In the finale of the balloon festival, dozens of hot air balloons lit up the sky, gliding over the beach at Callaway Gardens.


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