Joyful orbs float overhead this weekend in the annual Balloons Over Morgantown.
It’s not every day you see giant hot air balloons hovering over your hometown—but thanks to Balloons Over Morgantown, you can glimpse them at least once a year in Morgantown.
This year’s event is this weekend and, as long as wind and weather cooperate, balloons are scheduled to launch five times throughout the three-day event. It kicks off tonight, Thursday, September 29, with NightGlow. To learn more, we talked with Sarah Claydon, communications manager at University Toyota—one of the main organizations sponsoring the event.
Q: What is Balloons Over Morgantown?
SC: It has a long tradition as the Mountaineer Balloon Festival, a huge festival with 40 to 50 balloons and a carnival at Mylan Park. As Mylan Park became more developed, it was no longer possible to hold it there. But people really wanted the balloons back—so, a couple years ago, we basically came up with a hybrid solution. Now, we bring anywhere from 12 to 18 balloons back to the Morgantown Municipal Airport each year without the festival that takes up a lot of space. This is our third year in this format, and there will be 17 balloons this year.
Q: Where do the balloons launch from?
SC: All the balloons launch from the airport. People get to see the balloons flying over Morgantown—and they can follow them, chase them, and even help pack them back up when they land. So it’s still something unique and exciting that people can look forward to.
Q: What’s NightGlow?
SC: NightGlow starts around 7 p.m. Thursday at the Morgantown Mall. The balloons won’t be launching at that time because it’s dangerous to launch after dark, but they’ll be inflated and glowing, and you can walk around and see them up close. We’re excited to have it back—the last NightGlow was in 2019, and it’s always been one of the most beautiful and popular parts of the festival. People always look forward to it.
Keep up with Balloons Over Morgantown on social media for the most current details about launch times, flight trajectories, and more.