A spectacular new feature will be added to the 2013 Hot Air Festival! Balloons will be taking off before sunrise, lit up as they fly across the dark sky, creating a beautiful show.
Dawn Patrol launches and flights are seldom seen in the Eastern U.S. However, they are very common in the Western States such as Albuquerque, NX and Reno, NV. From all indications, these flights will be the first of their kind in Van Wert, including the former Hot Air Affair. The Dawn Patrol will be an amazing sight you don’t want to miss.
Typically, balloons cannot fly during dark hours, they can only do “glows” on the ground. Special lighting systems, custom-built by members of the Dawn Patrol at their own expense, are FAA-approved for conducting pre-sunrise flights.
Read more about the process at the Official Dawn Patrol Web site.
Want to be a part of the launch? You can take a ride on one of the Dawn Patrol balloons! The ride will last approximately one hour. Tony Sandlin’s balloon is equipped with an entry door for those with mobility impairments and can launch up to 5 passengers. All other balloons are equipped for two passengers.
Dawn Patrol rides are limited in number and are scheduled on a first come basis. Call Jerry Mazur to get your Dawn Patrol or normal daylight ride booked now!
View a sample video below of a Dawn Patrol in Reno, Nevada. This is the same type of show that will be featured at the 2013 HAF!
Posted on 04/21/13
Download the 2013 Balloon Ride Reservation Request in PDF format. Please return the form to Jerry Mazur, 1419 Leeson Avenue, Van Wert, Ohio 45891. (Not the fairgrounds or VW County Foundation, thanks!)
Book your hot air balloon ride now! The form is available for downloading and printing.
Below is the main content of the form in text format:
Please indicate if you have a need for barrier free, handicapped access. We do have a limited number of barrier free rides available and will make every effort to accommodate your needs. Barrier free ride requested: Yes ___ No ___
Balloon rides go off either early in the morning, est. 6:30 am or early evening, est. 6:00 pm. when the winds are calm.
Please indicate your ride preference below:
September 6th A.M ____September 6th P.M. ____, September 7th A.M. ____, September 7th P.M. ____,
September 8th A.M. ___
A limited number of pre dawn flights will be available, contact Jerry Mazur at 419-203-4100 for price and availability.
Due to scheduling issues and weather conditions the committee will make every effort to provide the ride you have requested. However, we reserve the right to adjust your date and time to allow you the safest and most memorable ride of your life. Rides will be confirmed by return e-mail or U.S. mail.
A donation of $200.00 dollars per rider is required. A $40.00 donation deposit is required with the reservation request of each ride. If your scheduled ride is cancelled out for any reason and we are unable to reschedule an available alternate balloon ride, your donation deposit will be refunded within 10 days.
Please make checks payable to: Van Wert County Foundation, Hot Air Festival Fund. The donation balance of $160.00 is payable in cash prior to and on the day of your ride launch.
Every effort will be made to get the ride on the date and time you have indicated. However, you are asked to be flexible and accept the balloon ride we arrange for you.
You are required to wear good walking shoes; open toed sandals, flip flops and crocks are not permitted. Your ride and reservation deposit may be in jeopardy should you not be attired in proper footwear.
It is important to point out that the Hot Air Festival is an outdoor event relying on fair weather conditions. Clearly, ballooning is a fair weather sport. All decisions concerning flight activities are evaluated by our experienced officials including the Balloonmeister, Weather and Safety Officer. In addition, Federal Aviation Regulations place the final responsibility and decision to launch with each individual pilot-in-command. While we hope you are able to enjoy the ride, we want you to understand that the ride element is dependent upon weather conditions which are beyond our control.
Posted on 03/17/13
Sponsored by Kenn-Feld, Fresh New Start, Van Wert K of C, Van Wert Hospital, Greve Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep
Have you always wanted to go for a ride in a hot air balloon, but have a disability that prevents you from climbing into the basket? You have a chance to make your dream come true at the 2013 HAF!
The Balloon will ascend to about 60 to 80 feet above the ground allowing all to get a birds eye view of the surrounding area. (Those with a known fear of heights should not consider taking this ride as the basket is open 42 inches above the floor.)
We are inviting all organizations dealing with person with special needs in this area to consider taking advantage of this opportunity.
For more detailed information, contact event organizer Jerry Mazur at 419-203-4100 or e-mail at email@example.com.
All riders must sign a ride waiver form. If the rider is under 18 years of age or otherwise unable to sign the form, then it must be signed by their legal guardian prior to taking the ride.
Download the waiver form in PDF format.
Posted on 01/03/13
For a once in a life time experience, try out a tethered balloon ride! The experience will make any celebration – birthdays, proposals, anniversaries, family outings – unforgettable.
What is a tethered ride?
The balloon is tethered to the ground with several strong ropes to keep it from flying away. This allows the pilot to give MANY rides per day.
When can we tether?
As with anything in the hot air balloon world, tethered rides are dependent upon the weather. Things like winds and nearby thunderstorms may prevent all balloon rides and takeoffs. The balloon meister and pilots will make the final decision. Tethered rides are scheduled for both Friday and Saturday beginning at approximately 4:30 p.m., depending on the weather.
How high will we travel?
The balloon will reach a height of 60 to 80 feet above the ground. The exact height is determined by a number of factors including wind, terrain, location, anchor points, number of passengers, etc. The pilot will determine the exact height according to conditions at the time of the event.
Those with a fear of heights should be cautious and speak to the pilot before committing to a ride. Otherwise, hop on and enjoy a bird’s eye view of the fairgrounds!
How many people can ride in the balloon?
The number of people that can ride in the balloon at once is dependent upon on their combined weight. Generally, 2-4 people can ride at the same time.
How long will the ride last?
The ride will last about 10-15 minutes from the time you leave the ground until the time you return.
Who can fly?
Anyone of reasonable health and who can get in and out of the basket can participate. Each participant (or parent/guardian for those under 18 years of age) must sign an Agreement to Participate/Waiver of Responsibility for tethered ride passengers provided by the Hot Air Festival committee before being allowed to participate in the event. The pilot & crew always reserves the right to limit who or how many can get into the balloon basket.
How much does it cost and where do I sign up?
No reservations are required, the rides are first come first serve. Children are $8.00 and adults are $12.00. Tethered rides will be held both Friday and Saturday evenings starting around 5:30 p.m., depending on the weather.
Posted on 01/01/13