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Ride the skies at Harvest Balloon Festival
Sterling on the Lake event raises funds for area agencies
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Balloon pilot Frank McCrory looks out over Sterling on the lake while giving a tethered ride for a passengers during last year's festival. - photo by Tom Reed

Harvest Balloon Festival

When: 3-8 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 20

Where: Sterling on the Lake Village Green, 7005 Lake Sterling Blvd., Flowery Branch

How much: Festival is free; parking, $5 per vehicle

More info: www.harvestballoonfestival.com

If those clear blue fall skies look inviting these days, there’s a way to get a closer look at them.

The third annual Harvest Balloon Festival is set for Saturday, Oct. 20, at the Sterling on the Lake community in Flowery Branch.

The fall festival is held in the Village Green, and includes balloon rides and other family-friendly activities to benefit local charities.

Visitors can take tethered balloon rides in addition to taking part in pumpkin carving and painting, hay rides, games and face painting.

Live music and food vendors will be on hand.

“This festival is an exciting way to introduce visitors to our wonderful community and to celebrate the season with our friends and residents,” said Jennifer Landers, marketing director for Newland Communities, developer of Sterling on the Lake. “We’ve really enjoyed the event the past two years, so we’re happy to welcome everyone back this October for the best Harvest Balloon Festival yet.”

New features this year include a pet adoption tent, where visitors can meet and adopt a pet from the Hall County Animal Shelter. The American Red Cross is offering a blood drive.

The festival will donate money raised from parking fees, purchases and balloon rides to the Hall County Animal Shelter and Challenged Child & Friends.

Visitors also can tour model homes at Sterling on the Lake.

“Harvest Balloon Festival is a unique and fun way to get to know our community, especially for those who take in the view from up above,” Landers said.

Admission is free, but parking is $5 per vehicle.

For a complete schedule and directions, visit www.harvestballoonfestival.com or call 770- 967-9777.