Bal­loon and wine fes­ti­val set for take­off Aug. 4-6

Sunday Star - - FRONT PAGE - By JOSH BOLLINGER jbollinger@star­dem.com

EAS­TON — The Ch­e­sa­peake Bay Bal­loon & Wine Fes­ti­val is set for next week­end, Fri­day, Aug. 4, through Sun­day, Aug. 6, at Triple Creek Win­ery in Cor­dova.

For­merly the Great Ch­e­sa­peake Bal­loon Fes­ti­val, the pop­u­lar event was moved to the win­ery at Three Bridge Branch Road in Cor­dova and added wine tast­ings for the 2016 fes­ti­val.

His­tor­i­cally, it was the ma­jor fundraiser for the Tal­bot Para­medic As­so­ci­a­tion, but due to costs as­so­ci­ated with host­ing the fes­ti­val, the para­medic as­so­ci­a­tion made a tough de­ci­sion to not host it this year. Triple Creek Win­ery then de­cided to host the event.

Be­sides the clas­sic ac­tiv­i­ties at the fes­ti­val — hot air bal­loon rides, food and ven­dors, cul­mi­nat­ing Fri­day and Satur­day evenings when all the bal­loons as­cend into the air and glow — Alex Spies, who is or­ga­niz­ing the fes­ti­val, said there will be an ex­panded chil­dren’s sec­tion with a pet­ting zoo and a “wan­der­ing train,” more ven­dors (150) and 18 hot air bal­loons. There also will be four kinds of wine for those aged 21 and older to buy.

Peo­ple also will get an op­por­tu­nity to meet the fi­nal 16 con­tes­tants from the Pa­cific

Miss Asian Amer­i­can Beauty Pageant be­tween 5 to 9 p.m. Satur­day, Aug. 5.

Spies said most peo­ple will have to park in the fes­ti­val’s satel­lite park­ing lot at the grounds for the Tuck­a­hoe Steam and Gas As­so­ci­a­tion, but they are bussing peo­ple on the 4-mile drive to the fes­ti­val. He said any prof­its re­al­ized from the park­ing will be shared with the Tal­bot Para­medic Foun­da­tion and the Tuck­a­hoe Steam and Gas As­so­ci­a­tion.

Ev­ery­one is en­cour­aged to buy park­ing and ad­mis­sion tick­ets ahead of time through the fes­ti­val’s page on Eventbrite. The page also can be found by vis­it­ing the fes­ti­val’s web­site at www.chesa­peake­bay­bal loo­nand­wine­fes­ti­val.com/.

The fes­ti­val will be open from noon to 9 p.m. Fri­day, Aug. 4, and Satur­day, Aug. 5. Hot air bal­loon rides and walk­a­bouts will be avail­able start­ing at 6 a.m. Satur­day and Sun­day, Aug. 6. Bal­loon rides and walk­a­bouts also will be avail­able from 3 to 8:15 p.m. Fri­day, weather per­mit­ting.

Teth­ered bal­lon rides are $20 for adults and $10 for chil­dren younger than 12 years old. Bal­loon walk­a­bouts carry a $3 fee. Pay­ment for rides and walk­a­bouts will be made on site.

Fri­day ad­mis­sion is $15 for adults and free for ages 15 and un­der. Group tick­ets for Fri­day, 20 or more, are $10 each. An on-site park­ing pass for Fri­day and Satur­day is $35, and an off-site pass is $5.

Satur­day ad­mis­sion is $20 and free for chil­dren 15 and younger. Satur­day group ad­mis­sion tick­ets are $15 each.

A week­end pass is avail­able for $30 for adults. A week­end on-site park­ing pass is $50, and a week­end off-site park­ing pass is $5.

PHOTO BY CHRIS POLK

A record crowd packs the fields of the Triple Creek Win­ery dur­ing the 2016 Ch­e­sa­peake Bay Bal­loon & Wine Fes­ti­val in Cor­dova.

PHO­TOS BY CHRIS POLK

Vis­i­tors get a teth­ered ride, about 100 feet up on the hot air bal­loon Go­ing Batty III dur­ing the 2016 Great Ch­e­sa­peake Bal­loon & Wine Fes­ti­val in Cor­dova.

Kids and the young at heart en­joy see­ing the in­sides of a hot air bal­loon in­side the “walk­a­bout” ex­hibit dur­ing the 2016 Great Ch­e­sa­peake Bal­loon & Wine Fes­ti­val in Cor­dova.

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