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The 33rd Annual Quechee Balloon Festival: Four reasons not to miss it!

Jun 07, 2012 12:17PM ● By Erin Frisch

Quechee Balloon Festival

One of the longest-running balloon festivals in New England, the Quechee Hot Air Balloon Festival is celebrated every year over Father’s Day weekend—this year from June 15 through June 17. The event takes place on the picturesque grounds of the Quechee Inn at Marshfield Farms, off I-89 between White River Junction and Woodstock, Vermont, and the focus is on family fun and entertainment. Yankee Magazine has rated the festival among the top 20 summer events of Vermont. And at $12 for admission for all three days ($5 for kids 6 to12, kids under 5 free), here are four reasons not to miss out!

1. Balloon Flights. Featuring more than 20 hot air balloons with rides available for purchase, as well as the legendary Balloon Glow, there is something for everyone. The daring can purchase 2-hour balloon rides on the event website. Rides take place at 6pm Friday and at 6am and 6pm Saturday and Sunday. The ride will run you $230 per person, but it’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience (make sure you wear a hat and sturdy shoes). Tethered balloon rides are also available during the day for $20 per adult and $15 for children 48 inches tall and under. For those who want to keep their feet on the ground, the Balloon Glow takes place Friday night. For this spectacular event, an auxiliary burner in the balloon is used to create a soft flame, lighting up the fabric like an incandescent light bulb. Be sure to bring your camera and enter your photos in the photo contest!

2. Entertainment. Many local bands will provide music throughout the whole festival, and Saturday and Sunday evening will feature comedy acts, as well as jugglers and dancers. The New England Disc Dogs will wow you with their frisbee talents. Check out a demonstration by the Jumptown Parachute Demonstration Team. And on Friday night, the Vermont Institute of Natural Science offers a raptor program that features three live predatory birds!

3. Food Court and Artisan Craft Vendors. The Northeast Concessionaires are returning to the festival this year with their amazing food court. They’ll offer tempting fare from blooming onions to healthy wraps and just about everything in between—a variety of great food to satisfy all different tastes. More than 60 craft artisans will feature their wares, from pottery to potpourri, and local businesses, commercial vendors, and non-profit organizations are gearing up to offer both information and great bargains.

4. Kid’s Zone. For an additional charge, kids can participate in the Kid’s Zone, run by the Green Mountain Children’s Center. This area of the festival offers games, rides, a bounce house, and more to keep little ones happy and having a great time.

The festival’s website offers directions to the Quechee Inn as well as information on places to stay around the area, since the admission price is for all three days. So if you are planning to attend, consider making a weekend of it!

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