Spectators are gathering for the 31st annual Thurston Classic at Allegheny College to watch the beautiful array of hot air balloons take off into the sky.
Ted Watts, Chairman of the Thurston Classic says, “As far as the community, the response is always overwhelming, they love to see the balloons in the air even though they’ve seen them for all these years they’re always coming back. Now we’re getting a lot of inquiries from farther off.”
Pilots travel to compete as far as Florida and as close as Meadville for the event.
You may wonder what the preparation is behind getting a hot air balloon ready for flight.
Dan Severo, a sponsor and owner of DJB Group, tells us, “Basically what they’re going to do is bring the basket out, they get the burners on, they hoop up all the top stuff as you see in the background. They make sure the propane tanks are full, they get their gas gages, their GPS, all their weather data stuff.”
Despite the delay in the event from the weather, community members are still gathering for a full weekend of hot air balloon fun.