Wellington Balloonfest

Mother Nature is a very nasty lady. For the second year in a row, she crushed the Wellington Balloonfest. This was the 4th, and it actually got to open. Last year’s was canceled due to bad weather. While most of the area saw clear blue skies and very high temps, the Fairgrounds actually saw a cloudburst for 15 minutes. The downpour was so heavy and the raindrops so large, the owner of one of the food booths said the drops looked white, and it looked like hail coming down.

Because of the weather, a number of balloon owners were contacted enroute to the Fairgrounds from the Columbus area and told not to make the trip. Seven balloon teams made it to the grounds, but the Re/Max balloon was the only one that was inflated and giving tether rides.

There was musical entertainment, as well as food booths, and games for adults and children.

A very long line for tether rides.

Wellington Balloonfest 2011

The 2011 Wellington BalloonFest will be held on Saturday, June 4, 2011 at the Lorain County Fairgrounds.

All Proceeds benefit the “Lorain County Office on Aging”

Throughout The Day There Will Be:

* Food *Vendors *Crafters *Public Ballooning Education by an Experienced Balloonist *Children’s Games *Adult Games *Inflatables – Combination Bouncy House with Slide and the Awesome *Velcro Wall!!*

Back by popular demand are the BalloonFest Souvenirs which will be on sale until SOLD OUT!!! Don’t miss out!

 

 Schedule of Events:

12:00 PM to 10:00 PM Fairgrounds open

Crafters, food vendors, and games open all day long

12:00 PM “Sleight Of Hands” Band

3:00 PM “Tammy and the Southern Crossroad Band”

6:00 PM “Music on a Mission” Band

6:30 PM – Hot Air Balloon Launch (weather permitting)

6:45 PM – Hot Air Balloon Tether Rides $5.00 per person (weather permitting)

Dusk – Hot Air Balloon GLOW (weather permitting)

Admission $5.00 per Car Load or $2.00 per person walk up

Food for the BalloonFest volunteers is providing by the

Wellington Area Chamber of Commerce

The Lorain County Fairgrounds is located on Fairgrounds Road, off of State Route 18, west of Wellington, Ohio.

 

 

Saving Downtown: A Look at Wellington

I was recently in Wellington visiting a friend, and walked around their downtown. Damn, I wish Lorain’s downtown looked like this. Even as small as Wellington is, their downtown has survived the current recession. The buildings are well taken care of, no garish colors, no crappy signs, none of that.

Unlike Lorain, there are just a few vacant stores along the main street. And VERY unlike Broadway, not only does this vacant store look ready to move into, the interior is GORGEOUS.

Lorain has a Health Dept.- authorized flophouse, many stores that are used for storage, etc. Same as it’s been for the last 4? 5? 10 years?

Like what you see? Tell someone. Bitch to someone. Bitch to LOTS of people. Write your council-person. They can get the ball rolling. Lorain needs money? Income tax from operating downtown businesses would be a tremendous start. Increased property taxes from improved properties would help the schools with their financial situation. The City would have more money to improve the roads and streets.

All that JUST from getting downtown Lorain back on its feet and up and running again.

And I don’t even get paid to to this.

Wellington Balloon Fest ’09

It was almost two years ago, but something I envisioned finally happened.  I had proposed to Ted Kalo in an email the idea of a balloon fest at the Lorain County Fairgrounds. Saturday night, Wellington held their 2nd Annual Balloon Fest at the Fairgrounds. While it was definitely bigger than last years, there are still a few kinks that need worked out.  First, the pictures.

While definitely smaller than the 20 balloons that I’d seen advertised, it was quite picturesque.  Lining the drive into the fairgrounds were photographers of all ages, all levels of experience, from cellphone cameras to very expensive D-SLR’s.

Unfortunately, these photographers lined the side of the road opposite the balloons, so that all the traffic coming into the grounds passed in front of them. I arrived there just before the sun set, and a little before the glow started. Taking pictures was quite a challenge because so many folks weren’t staying after dark, and more were coming in just for the glow. Behind the photographers were a lot of people set up in lawn chairs, watching the last few balloons inflate, due to a late 8pm launch, due to weather.

I’d like to offer a few suggestions for future fests. When I hear that there’s going to be a “glow” at a balloon fest, this is what I envision:

 

That’s not exactly what we saw Saturday night. That’s fine, this event is still developing. And there’s lots to learn. Another thing is the parking/exiting situation. Dozens of folks opted to turn left as they exited the parking area, because the road to the right was considerably backed up. We got about a quarter mile before everyone had to turn around and come back because this route was apparently blocked off. A blockade with a sign saying “Road Closed” would have been very helpful closer to the parking area.  And the Auxiliary Policeman that was ‘directing’ the exodus would probably have helped things move much quicker if he’d have allowed 5-10 cars at a time from the road and from the parking area rather than 1 at a time from each direction.

I hate to ‘dis’ anything like this, but a lot more could have been done with this to improve everyone’s enjoyment.