The annual Hudson Valley Hot Air Balloon Festival, sponsored by the Dutchess Regional Chamber of Commerce, took place over the second weekend in July at Barton Orchards in Poughquag.
Like boats, balloons have whimsical names; those participating included Mystical Breeze, Rainbow with a View, Cumulus Rompus II, Limelite, A Rising Star, Sir Prize and Roamin’ Candle.
Balloon pilots typically take off at 6 a.m. or 6 p.m. to avoid the daytime heat. At the festival, visitors could ride in a tethered balloon or, for $225 (morning) or $250 (afternoon), take a free-range flight. The balloons follow the wind and so do not return to the launch. Instead, a chase crew follows in a vehicle, then ferries the passengers back to their cars.
Photos by Ross Corsair