Monday, 27 September 2021 17:02

Balloon Glow schedules event at Richmond County Airport

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Balloon Glow schedules event at Richmond County Airport Pixabay

ROCKINGHAM — Hot air balloons are slated to fill the sky above the Richmond County Airport next month.

The Richmond County Airport announced Monday on its Facebook page that the Balloon Glow Tour would be coming Oct. 9.

“This is our first really large public event since COVID,” said Airport Manager Jason Gainey, “so we’re really excited to have them here.”

Gainey added that this is the “perfect event” for those who have been mostly inside since the pandemic began last spring.

Citing the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services, WRAL last week reported only eight clusters — five or more COVID-19 cases that can be linked — accounting for less than 140 cases, have been connected to concerts, festivals and other outdoor events during the pandemic.

The Balloon Glow website has tickets on sale for Oct. 8, 9 and 10 with a disclaimer stating that the appearance of hot air balloons is dependent on the weather.

According to the Federal Aviation Administration, potential hazards with a balloon launch increase exponentially when surface wind speeds exceed 7 knots, or 8.05 mph.

The disclaimer also states that tickets are non-refundable, but can be redeemed at rescheduled events in case of postponement, or other Balloon Glow events.

Balloon Glow had an event scheduled last October at Rockingham Speedway, but it was canceled. A post on Facebook blamed the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services and Gov. Roy Cooper’s tight COVID restrictions.

This year’s Rockingham event was announced by Balloon Glow as early as mid-July.

A July 29 post says that tickets purchased for the 2020 event can be exchanged for this year’s spectacle. Those who have older tickets are told to email “This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. using the subject ROCKINGHAM TICKETS.”

Media reports show successful events since last December.

The most recent Balloon Glow event was held in Raleigh this past weekend, with more than 1,000 people attending the festival at Dorothea Dix Park.

The Army and Air Force have been using the Richmond County Airport, and other regional airports, for training as Pope Army Airfield undergoes repairs, Gainey said.

He added that the military built the local airport in the 1940s.

The airport also hosted a Mini Truck show back in May.