Balloons Aloft takes flight for 7th year in Angola

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) This is the seventh year for Balloons Aloft and this year they have a new location and several events for the entire family.

Thirty-six balloons will fill the sky over Angola for this year’s event, now held at Angola High School. That’s nearly three times the number of balloons from the first Balloons Aloft.

A look inside a hot air balloon at the Balloons Aloft event in Angola.
A look inside a hot air balloon at the Balloons Aloft event in Angola.

“Our first year for Balloons Aloft we had 13 balloons. The second year we moved up to about 18 or 20 and we thought that was pretty good. This year we’re almost to 40 and that maxes us out,” event director Marsha Drewes said.

It’s a sport that draws nearly 20,000 people to Steuben County.

“I’ve been doing this for a lot of years and it still takes my breath away when those balloons go up in the sky. It’s an incredible feeling,” Drewes said.

Our crews got a behind the scenes look of how the crews get ready for a flight.They also learned about the numerous ways pilots track weather, their flight and communicate with their chase teams.

“We got global positioning systems,” competition director Phil Clinger explained. “We got instrumentation that shows the rate of climb, also it shows the temperature at the top of the balloon. Right now we’re only 122 degrees up there.”

Thirty-six hot air balloons will participate in Balloons Aloft at Angola High School.
Thirty-six hot air balloons will participate in Balloons Aloft at Angola High School.

Unfortunately, the fog kept our crews on the ground this morning, but event coordinator said they’re watching the weather very closely for this evening’s events hoping that they’ll be able to get off the ground.

“That’s the one thing you can’t control as an event director, but we’re hopeful that the weather may lift here pretty soon,” Drewes said.

Click here for a complete list of events at the free event.

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