Balloon festival returns to Quechee this weekend

The Village Green of Quechee in New England will enjoy a re-emergence of its annual hot air balloon festival this weekend.

The event, which is in its 34th year, also has a large focus on crafts and music. Locals will be welcoming the return after last year’s event was moved elsewhere due to 2011’s Tropical Storm Irene.

A major clean-up operation involving the entire reseeding of the grass has taken place since. This was completed with assistance from the Quechee Lakes Landowners Association, the Green’s owners.

It is hoped that the weather will hold this year, as the event has, in the past, seen crowds of 100,000. It was this potential figure, however, that originally raised concerns over the level of damage that vehicle and foot traffic could cause to new grass. In addition to reseeding, the Club has spent $4.5m on repairing the grounds of Lake Pinneo and two nearby golf courses.

Organised by the Hartford Area Chamber of Commerce, the event sees 20 balloons fly over the Quechee Gorge, which has a depth of 165ft. Visitors can choose to either witness the event from level ground, or from the hot air balloon rides on offer. These begin on Friday night and continue throughout the weekend.

Further attractions include a number of vendors and craft artisans, various children’s activities, entertainment for adults, food stalls and a wine and beer garden.

The festival will start on Friday afternoon and will run through until Sunday evening.

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