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Balloon Festival?

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posts: 7
Balloon Festival?

Hi--has anyone been to the balloon festival in Morgantown in October? My husband and I are trying to decide whether or not to make a weekend trip from Baltimore. Their website doesn't have much on it. Is it more of a carnival with a few balloons?


West Virginia
posts: 1,575
reviews: 1
1. Re: Balloon Festival?

Have not been there. Sorry.

Is this the site you went to: http://www.ummbf.com/

It sounds pretty neat - I think the schedule is for 2006 (2007 not posted yet). It says: "About the Hot Air Balloon Races

Five of the festival's races are hare and hound races. Pilots are

awarded prizes at each race and at the end of the weekend, points are added up and the weekend's Grand Champion is decided."

"The Garfield's Lift race will be done a little differently. Balloons

will not be taking off from the festival grounds for this race. Instead the balloons will be launching from different locations all over Morgantown."

Charleston, WV has a hot air balloon event during the regatta. We went one time to watch them & it was pretty neat.


and http://www.sternwheelregatta.com/Events.html

posts: 7
2. Re: Balloon Festival?


That was the website I was looking at. I guess I was expecting a bit more information from it. :) The Charleston event looks really interesting. Will have to consider it.


Morgantown, WV
posts: 3
3. Re: Balloon Festival?

The balloons are nice to see, very picturesque backgrounds too. Theres alot more than just a few- prob ~ 75 or so. If youre in it for the photography its worth the trip. The "carnival" is so-so.

Morgantown, West...
Destination Expert
for Morgantown
posts: 1,356
reviews: 28
4. Re: Balloon Festival?

Neither balloon festival is great, but the Morgantown one is much larger than the small one during the Charleston Regatta. It is not worth your time for the balloons, but the Regatta itself is pretty impressive (boat races, concerts, sporting events, etc).

The balloon festival in Morgantown was spectacular, prior to September 11th. It was held at the local airport (a very small airport with little activity), and the balloons raced all weekend throughout the county. You could literally see dozens of balloons racing at almost any time, on almost any day in the county. The carnival took place on one of the runways, and the county school system closed on the Friday of that weekend so that the kids could have a free day at the carnival.

Due to Homeland Security issues, the balloon festival was forced to leave the airport. It went without a home for a couple of years. Since 9/11, the festival was moved to an "out-of-the-way" park that is trying very hard to schedule quality events for the people of the county. But, the balloon festival has not grown... in fact, it is smaller.

I know the organizers are doing their best to bring the festival back to its glory, but I would estimate that they have less than 1/2 of the balloons that they had in the late 1990's.

There is nothing around Mylan Park. If you travel back downhill towards Morgantown, there is a shopping complex with Wal-Mart, Target, dozens of chain restaurants and other stores. Not much else, though.

The light-up night on Thursday used to take place at the WVU Coliseum (where West Virginia University plays basketball) in the parking lot, and could be viewed for miles around. Now, everything has been moved to Mylan Park.

The balloon races are now located in a small area, as aviation rules do not allow them to fly all over the county. Since we do not live near Mylan Park, we haven't seen the balloon races since 2001.

The carnival is small, and the food vendors are your typical carnival-fare. Mylan Park has one 2-lane road in and out of it.

Before 9/11, if you asked me if it was worth a trip from Baltimore for the balloon festival, I would have said ABSOLUTELY. Now, though, I don't believe it is worth the drive. There are some other wonderful places to visit in the mountains of West Virginia in October that I would give higher recommendations to.

posts: 7
5. Re: Balloon Festival?

That's too bad that the number of balloons is so much smaller. We tried to go to the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta (we were coincidentally in Santa Fe) last fall--which is huge--but bad weather kept most of the balloons deflated. So, we were thinking of trying someplace closer.

Thank you for your input. It's been very helpful!

posts: 2
6. Re: Balloon Festival?


Balloon festival has been canceled for 2008.

Sorry so late.


posts: 2
7. Re: Balloon Festival?

Balloon Festival was canceled for 2008.



posts: 1
8. Re: Balloon Festival?

why has the 2008 festival been cancelled??

9. Re: Balloon Festival?

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