GLENS FALLS, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Look to the sky above Glens Falls, and it won’t be long before you see a whole range of bright colors. The Adirondack Balloon Festival is on its way back to the southern Adirondacks.

The 49th annual Adirondack Balloon Festival will draw over 50 professional ballooners to the Glens Falls area from Sept. 22-25. The festival brings with it an influx of food vendors and other festivities not seen since prior to the COVID-19 pandemic – and downtown Glens Falls will see its own part of that great return, in the form of a block party on Thursday, Sept. 22.

“We pretty much have the block party no matter what. I think in my tenure here, it’s only been canceled once,” said Glens Falls Tourism and Planning Director Amy Collins.

Opening ceremonies kick off the festival at 5 p.m. at Crandall Park. The first 10 balloons will take flight, and then Glen Street will come alive. The block party includes classic cars, kids’ activities, and balloon baskets on display, for those looking for an inside peek at how it all works.

The full schedule for the balloon fest was released this week:

  • Thursday, Sept. 22
    • All events at Crandall Park, 690 Glen St., Glens Falls
    • 4 p.m.
      • Food vendors open
    • 4:30 – 6:30 p.m.
      • Live music by band “Beatin’ the Odds”
    • 5 p.m.
      • Opening ceremonies
    • 5:30 p.m.
      • First 10+ balloons take flight
    • 6 – 9:30 p.m.
      • Block party in downtown Glens Falls
  • Friday, Sept. 23
    • All events at Floyd Bennett Memorial Airport, 443 Queensbury Ave., Queensbury
    • 3 p.m.
      • Gates open
    • 4:30 – 6:30 p.m.
      • Band “The K&O Show” performs
    • 5 – 6:15 p.m.
      • Up to 50 balloons take flight, including special shapes
  • Saturday, Sept. 24
    • All events at Floyd Bennett Memorial Airport, 443 Queensbury Ave., Queensbury
    • 4:30 a.m.
      • Gates Open
    • 6 a.m. – 8 p.m.
      • Vendors, food, exhibitors, a full craft fair and kids’ activities, all open to the public
    • 6:30 – 7:30 a.m.
      • “Celebrating Joan” tribute to Adirondack Balloon Festival co-founder Joan Grishkot
      • Flight of up to 75 balloons, including special shapes
    • 2:30 – 6:30 p.m.
      • “Jim Gaudet and the Railroad Boys,” a musical by Carolyn Shapiro
    • 5-6:15 p.m.
      • 50+ balloons take flight, with more staying at the field to prepare for the evening moonglow event
    • 8 p.m.
      • Moonglow lights up the night with up to 50 balloons shining in the evening sky
  • Sunday, Sept. 25
    • Events at Floyd Bennett Memorial Airport:
    • 4:30 a.m.
      • Gates open
    • 6-10 a.m.
      • Food vendors, exhibitors, craft fair, kids activities
    • 6:30 – 7:30 a.m.
      • Flight of up to 75 balloons and shapes for “Walter and Joan’s Mass Ascension”
    • 10 a.m.
      • Airport closes
    • Events at Crandall Park:
    • 3 p.m.
      • Food vendors open
    • 4 p.m.
      • “Across the Pond” performs
    • 5 – 6:15 p.m.
      • Closing flight of 10 or more balloons

“Its really an idyllic time,” said Collins. “The fall is such a perfect time to have the balloon fest. It’s a tradition that is really remarkable in terms of the longevity of the festival.”

The weekend also includes a special hanger breakfast at Floyd Bennett Memorial Airport. The annual breakfast supports the Open Door Mission. Breakfast is priced at $10 for adults, and $6 for children ages 12 and under.