Day 5 — Freedom Balloon Fest and Project Uplift USA
Foggy weather didn't stop the fun
This image was taken at the 2017 Freedom Balloon Fest.
Photo courtesy of Maureen Churchill
When my alarm went off at 5 a.m. this morning I seriously questioned my plan for the day. Luckily, as soon as I was up and moving, the same excitement I feel every year overtook me. It’s Memorial Day Weekend and in our family and that means one thing, we were headed to the Freedom Balloon Fest in Fuquay-Varina.
We set off before dawn so we could be onsite as the pilots prepared for their morning flight, which usually begins around 6:15. As the sun began to rise we noticed low level fog that seemed to grow thicker as we got closer to the park. As it turned out that pesky fog, and the poor visibility it brought with it, meant it was not safe for the pilots to fly this morning. They did, however, put a few balloons in the air to do tethered rides. They also opened the field to the attendees and we were invited to visit with the balloon teams and collect balloon cards from each of them.
While we didn’t get the same majestic views we had last year, it was still an amazing experience to be so close to these enormous balloons and to get to meet the incredible gracious and welcoming crews who fly them.
My act of kindness for today is a donation to Freedom Balloon Fest and Project Uplift USA. I hope they continue the great work they are doing supporting our military and their families. We will be back next year with fingers crossed for clear, blue skies.
Freedom Balloon Fest is an admission-free, all-volunteer-run community festival honoring our Gold Star and military families. It costs nothing to attend because of the generous support of individual, local and regional businesses who believe in supporting strong communities. Freedom Balloon Fest is a community service project of Project Uplift USA, Inc., a North Carolina 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation. Learn more Project Uplift USA.