Balloon Quest organizers hope for favorable weekend weather | Local News

Randy Conti is hoping for good weather this weekend.

He is not the only one.

The 22nd Western PA Balloon Quest kicked off with a carnival which opens on Wednesday with hot air balloons arriving in Union Township’s Scotland Meadows park today. The balloon glow – when the balloons are inflated and lit in unison like light fixtures to the beat of the music – is set at 9 p.m. The first flight is scheduled for 6-7 p.m. Friday evening. About 50 to 60,000 people can attend the event on a good weekend, Conti said.

“Our hope this year is for good weather, good wind, no rain,” said Conti, an organizer and member of the Union Township Volunteer Fire Department. “We are going to have a very good weekend. I think positive. We are going to have good weather and we are going to see hot air balloons in the sky this weekend.

Launches are also scheduled from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturday, as well as from 6 a.m. to 7 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday. If the balloons can take off, it’s a question of time – and sometimes of what we don’t see.

“It depends on winds and winds at different altitudes,” Conti said. “It could be nice on the ground, but you get so high and the winds are a bit stronger there.

“We would like to get all the launches.”

Last year’s event had rainy days. Launches also won’t happen if the wind is blowing south, which would bring pilots over the West Pittsburg Power Plant.

The event is one of the largest fundraisers for the Union Fire Department and was held a little later than normal, which was actually more convenient for its carnival ride company. , Bartlebaugh Amusements.

Conti noted that the event has no admission and there are no parking fees. A New Castle Area Transit Authority bus will operate in the parking areas to transport people to and from the festival. Once inside, there are food vendors, rides, and firefighters will be selling sausages and steak.

There will be a starter drive all weekend for firefighter donations.

Pyrotecnico, located just across a tree line behind Union High School, will put on a fireworks show at 10 p.m.

“We actually use a hometown fireworks company,” Conti said. “Pyrotecnico has always been good to us.”