Up, Up and Away…
HUGHESVILLE – Hundreds of spectators turned out to see the Rotary’s Balloon Fest at the Lycoming County Fairgrounds in Hughesville over the weekend. Filled with two days of activities and special attractions, the weather was perfect sporting sunny blue skies. This made it perfect for the balloon launches, the Misty Blues parachuters, the RV stunt flyers, balloon rides, helicopter rides, ATV drag racing and frisbee golf.
Close to 12 hot air balloons were first launched around dawn Saturday morning and could be seen high in the skies by area residents at 7 a.m.
On Friday the Team RV stunt divers arrived at the Montoursville airport. They are known as the world’s largest air show team and made close formation loops and stunts through the air at noon and 4 p.m. “These pilots absolutely love what they do,” said the announcer as the airmen turned around at 45 degree angles. Each pilot in the precision formation flying team of 7 built their own plane, and enjoy touring across the country doing flying stunts and formations for local air shows. They can handle various maneuvers such as figure 8’s going over 300 miles an hour. On Saturday afternoon viewers watched trails of white smoke fade against the Pennsylvania blue skyline. “The pilots don’t look where they are going, but only focus on their formations which are just about 7 to 8 feet away from each other.”
At an altitude of 2500 feet in the air, the Misty Blues all female open skydiving team made remarkable formations in the air before making perfect landings in the fairgrounds. The women are used to doing an average of 4,000 to 20,000 free fall parachute jumps and some are national medalists that perform all over the world. After they landed they interacted with spectators giving out balloons to children and signing autographs.
Team RV was sponsored by XTO Energy Company and the Misty Blues were sponsored by Range Resources Energy Company. Other sponsors were Halliburton and Muncy Bank and Trust.
The Industrial Building was lined with many vendors on both sides and stayed open until 9 p.m. on Saturday and 5 p.m. on Sunday. Helicopter rides sold out on Saturday after 55 people signed up, and there was a line to sign up for the hour long balloon rides.
Committees from the Muncy, Hughesville, Montoursville and Williamsport Rotaries organized the event that is now called Rotary Festival 2010. All proceeds will benefit the Greater Lycoming Habitat for Humanity. “This event would not have been possible if it were not for the nice weather and the many voluneers,” said Chairperson Sandy Spencer.
Volunteer members for the event were: Chairperson Sandy Spencer, Operations John Ryan, Finance Michelle Lawson, Lou Bassler , Sponsorship Sandy Spencer, Madge Guiser, Website Matt Kutz, Food Vendors Bob Weaver, Crafters – Peggy Wood, Exhibitors Tammy Hunsinger, Non-Profits/Service Clubs Geneva Peck, Marie Harris Advertising Dan Farr, Sandy Spencer, Hot Air Balloons/Balloonmeister Rebecca Elkins. Tickets Michelle Lawson, and Gate Operations Diane Glenwright,Volunteers Barb Wascher, and Program Sheri Lozak, Security Tom Baird, Parking Phil Buehrer.