The Villages Balloon Festival

The Villages Polo Club

From May 31 to June 2, 2019, it was up, up and away for the thousands of spectators who turned up for the Inaugural Villages Balloon Festival.  The skies were awash in a beautiful display of over 25 different hot air balloons over the course of the weekend.

Participants had the opportunity to enjoy a tethered ride, a bird’s eye view of the festivities on Friday and Saturday evenings. Nightly balloon glows, featured at least one shaped balloon, including Ham-let (a flying pig), Freedom (an eagle), and Neptuno (a seahorse).

Although some of the balloon competitions that were scheduled on Friday and Saturday had to be canceled due to high wind conditions, Sunday morning’s weather was bright, clear and calm.  Perfect weather conditions finally allowed this scheduled balloon competition to take place.   That morning over 22 balloons floated on the winds over The Villages, with most landing around the Polo grounds.  A breathtaking sight for all in attendance.

For those who preferred to keep their feet planted firmly on the ground, the festival offered live entertainment with bands ranging from N-Spire, a North Carolina based soul and pop talent, to Penta, a local rock favorite.  The free Kid’s Zone featured inflatable slides, games, face painters, art and crafts activities. Vendors offered up everything from jewelry to bloody mary mixers. An array of great food and drink options were also at the ready!  Craft and domestic beers and wine were available from two bar locations.  Delectable eats were the fare from Shadrach’s Fiery Furnace fresh brick oven pizza, smoothies and acai bowls by Absofruitly, cheesesteaks and Sabrett hot dogs from Stacey-n-Tim’s Pitstop.  The Village’s newest food truck, Rita’s Cocina Mexicana, which is owned by one of the Club’s own polo grooms, made their inaugural appearance!  Delicious!!

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