Hot-air balloons will be the focus of a two-day festival over Labor Day Weekend in Bel Air.
The 2nd Annual Rising Above It Balloon Festival is a fundraiser for SARC, a Harford County nonprofit that provides hope and resources to victims of domestic violence, sexual violence, child abuse and stalking.
Family Fun Day takes place (rain or shine) at the Harford County Equestrian Center, 608 North Tollgate Road in Bel Air, on Saturday, September 3, from noon to 7 p.m. The Balloon Glow Gala takes place the evening before, Friday, September 2, from 7 to 11 p.m. at Maryland Golf and Country Clubs, 1335 East MacPhail Road in Bel Air.
Family Fun Day features a mix of activities for kids and adults alike.
Hot-air balloon pilots will provide interactive demonstrations. Kids can take horse rides (additional fee) and participate in Home Depot’s “kids workshop,” moon bounces, face painting, balloon twisting, a scavenger hunt and a pirate encampment. The Maryland Zoo’s ZOOmobile will also be on hand as will Harford County Public Library’s Rolling Reader.
Also joining the festivities is Baltimore AMP (Artist Musician Project), which invites festival guests to design a T-shirt or bag to take home (additional fee).
Youth can also participate in the Big Picture Project by decorating a square of a quilt that illustrates a happy and safe world. The squares will be sewn together to form a quilt that will be on display at next year’s balloon festival.
In addition, there will be a child- and youth-friendly tent filled with additional activities plus another that will focus on a mix of activities for youth and adults.
Radio personality Maynard Edwards of WAMD serves as the day’s master of ceremonies. His award-winning band, Collect All 5 (formerly Mobtown Saints) will perform two shows on the main stage.
There will also be a local musician stage featuring a variety of music by area artists.
Other family-oriented entertainment includes Kinetic Youth Academy’s tumbling show, Move It Move It Move It with Uncle Pete, Mr. Twister “magic show,” dog frisbee show and Zumba interactive demonstrations.
The day concludes with hot air balloons taking flight for a hare and hound race (weather permitting).
Shoppers will enjoy the various items on display in vendor hall. Food will be available for purchase at the festival.
Booz Allen Hamilton is the title sponsor of Family Fun Day.
Tickets for Family Fun Day cost $5 per person (kids 5 and under are free) and may be purchased in advance online at www.sarc-maryland.org. Tickets may also be purchased at the gate.
The Balloon Glow Gala, featuring the magical world of Oz, will kick off the festival the evening before. Several hot-air balloons will be lighted and will “glow” (weather permitting) during the evening, illuminating the area around the gala.
The evening features music, dancing, dinner, open bar and a signature “ruby slippers” drink. Entertainment includes the Craig Sparks Band, magician Dick Steiner and a live auction including four skybox tickets to the Eagles vs. Redskins New Year’s Day game in Philadelphia, balloon ride for two, a one-week stay in Myrtle Beach and a day of beauty at Merle Norman.
A unique diamond raffle will also take place. Fifty glasses of the signature “ruby slippers” drink will be sold at the gala, and attached to each glass will be a jewelry pouch. One of the jewelry pouches will contain a real diamond, valued at approximately $2,000, donated by Saxon’s Diamond Centers.
Harford Mutual is the title sponsor of the Balloon Glow Gala.
Tickets cost $125 per person and must be reserved in advance by visiting www.sarc-maryland.org.
Other sponsors of the festival include APGFCU, Gemcraft, Jones Junction, Laurel Bush Dentistry, SRC, Whiteford, Taylor & Preston, LLP, Thomas M. Wagner and Associates, Harford Community College, PSA Insurance and Financial Services, SAIC, Chesapeake Title Company, LLC, Grandizio, Wilkens, Matthews & Little, Jeffrey Potter, P.A., Allied Phillips, Father Martin’s Ashley, Free State Numismatics, Inc., Bruce Grau and Associates, Carrollton Mortgage Services, Inc., Lynch
Construction and Bobby’s Portable Restrooms. Media sponsors are The Aegis, HC Style, Harford’s Heart and Mason-Dixon ARRIVE.
For more information about the festival or SARC, visit www.sarc-maryland.org or call 410-836-8431.