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Wouldnt you like to fly?
Get your share of hot air at Sterling on the Lake festival
The annual Harvest Balloon Festival is set for Saturday and Sunday at Sterling on the Lake.

Harvest Balloon Festival

When: Balloon launch 8 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. Oct. 15-16; Festival 1:30-8:30 p.m. Oct. 15

Where: Sterling on the Lake, 7004 Lake Sterling Blvd., Flowery Branch

How much: Free admission; $5 parking; $15 per person tethered balloon rides; $250 per person free-floating balloon ride

Contact: 770-965-3980 ext. 1; free-floating balloon riders must register in advance

Although the storm clouds are expected to roll away by Friday, another front will be moving in this weekend: the annual Harvest Balloon Festival.

The event is scheduled for Saturday and Sunday at Sterling on the Lake, 7004 Lake Sterling Blvd, Flowery Branch.

From 8-8:30 a.m. each day, the hot air balloon pilots will launch their vessels for the hot air balloon race. Following each morning launch, there will be a breakfast and tethered balloon rides until 9:30 a.m.

After that is a break in activity until the 1:30-8:30 p.m. festival begins Saturday.

"Our first festival was a huge success, bringing in nearly 8,000 guests," said Jennifer Landers, Newland Communities marketing director.

"We expect another great turnout and lots of fun again this year."

Included will be craft vendors, food and family fun activities, including hay rides and pumpkin carving.

There will also be another round of tethered balloon rides available from 5:30-7:30 p.m. Saturday. Both the morning and afternoon tethered rides, which will take participants 40 feet in the air, are $15 per person. Riders must be at least 5 years old.

Individuals who would like to go a little higher in the sky can sign up in advance for a "no-strings attached" hot air balloon ride which will take off at 8 a.m. Saturday and Sunday. Those rides are $250 per person and are limited to 24 registrants.

All hot air balloon activity is dependent on weather conditions and is subject to change.

Live entertainment will be provided throughout the festival. Performers will include Crash Years, Trailing Tinsley and Wire Method.

The American Red Cross will also be onsite hold a blood drive from 1-6 p.m. Saturday.

Admission to the festival is free, but there is a $5 parking fee. Proceeds from the parking and other purchases will benefit Challenged Child and Friends and the National Military Family Association.

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