Set for August 31-September 3, 2012, this annual Balloon Festival has something for everyone, from the soaring, majestic, colorful balloons to Callaway Gardens’ unique mix of natural beauty, to its endless helpings of multi-generational activities and events. When it comes to family fun at Callaway Gardens, the sky is the limit!
Festivities kick off Friday night when guests flock to Robin Lake Beach for the Balloon Glow. Upbeat live music sets the mood as balloons inflate. While the sun sets, the balloons’ individual colors glow against the gorgeous evening sky. Guests shout “ready, set…glow.”
On both Saturday and Sunday mornings, it is up, up and away as the balloons head for the open skies (weather permitting*) at sunrise and sunset. On the ground, the action continues as Robin Lake Beach plays host to a family festival featuring activities and events for all ages. Choose from tethered balloon rides** (weather permitting*), swimming, miniature golf, disc dog demonstrations, t-shirt tie-dyeing** and more.
Don’t miss the popular Classic Car Show on Saturday. In 2012, nearly 300 cars are expected to roll through the gates and add even more color to the already spectacular event. Additional activities include at Robin Lake Beach including Aqua Island** and Light Striker Laser Tag**. Come prepared to get wet and have a great weekend.
Sunday night will be extra special this year. At dusk the U. S. Army Silver Wings Pyrotechnic Skydiving Team will impress everyone with their skills and precision. Then, a bonus Sunday night Balloon Glow will be a first for the highly requested second glow of the festival. And, that night is also the timing of the unusual second full moon for the month of August. It is called a Blue Moon. Here are three great reasons to stay around on Sunday night and enjoy the festivities thorough Sunday.
Inside the Gardens, be sure to witness the flight of hundreds of blue butterflies as part of September’s special Blue Morpho Month. If the trend continues, for the month of September there will be more Blue Morphos on display in one place at Callaway Gardens’ Cecil B. Day Butterfly Center than any other place on the planet. Of course, there are also bicycle trails, Birds of Prey shows, floral displays, walking trails and more.
And, if you really want to fly, try out the new TreeTop Adventure**, a year-round attraction at Callaway Gardens featuring 25 games and zip lines in the tree canopy. Be sure to make your reservation before your visit.
On Sunday morning, the athletically inclined can enjoy their own adventures thanks to the Callaway Gardens Fitness Series, including a 5K run and the Triathlon. This year represents the 32nd anniversary of the Triathlon at Callaway Gardens. It is the oldest triathlon in the South and one of the longest continuous running triathlons in the continental United States. To register, visit http://www.active.com.
Want to be a part of the high-flying balloon action? Sign up to be on a Balloon Chase Crew for the weekend. Crew members are assigned to assist pilots throughout the weekend with setting up balloons, chasing them when they are in the air and then bringing them back to Callaway after landing. For more information, contact Andy Brown at 706-663-5043 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Festival admission is $25 per adult (ages 13-64); $20 per senior (65+); $12.50 per child (ages 6-12); and free for children 5 and younger (admission prices include tax). Annual Passholders and military, with active and retired identification, can enter the Gardens with up to five guests in the same vehicle per day for free on Friday and before 9 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday. These two groups can enter for half-price after 9 a.m. each day. This price includes access to Callaway Gardens and its many attractions and activities.
As an incentive to witness the morning launches, admission at the U.S. Hwy. 27 Beach gate will be half-price from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday. To make the early arrival deal a little sweeter, the Exchange Club of Columbus will be serving an all-you-can-
Stay around and enjoy the entire weekend with friends and family on the Sky High Hot Air Balloon Weekend Package. A limited number of remaining rooms start at $179***, this offer includes accommodations in the Mountain Creek Inn; admission to the Sky High Hot Air Balloon Festival; tickets to make tie-dye T-shirts for two adults and two children at the Festival on Saturday or Sunday; breakfast in the Plant Room or Country Kitchen; admission to Callaway Gardens and its many attractions;
Don’t delay. Call now for reservations at 1-800-CALLAWAY (225-5292) or make reservations online at http://www.callawaygardens.com.
Callaway Gardens®, is in Pine Mountain, Ga., 60 minutes southwest of Atlanta and 30 minutes north of Columbus.
*Ballooning is dependent on safe weather conditions including wind velocity and direction.
***Rate is per night, based on double occupancy and availability in the Mountain Creek Inn. Some restrictions apply. Rates also are available for the Southern Pine Cottages and Mountain Creek Villas.
For a schedule of Events, visit http://www.callawaygardens.com/
About Callaway Gardens
For 60 years, Callaway Gardens has provided “a place of relaxation, inspiration and a better understanding of the living world” for millions of visitors. Owned and operated by the non-profit Ida Cason Callaway Foundation, Callaway Gardens includes a garden, resort, preserve and residential community on thousands of acres in Pine Mountain, Georgia. Highlights include a butterfly conservatory, horticultural center, discovery center, chapel, inland beach, nature trails and special events throughout the year.
In addition, Callaway Gardens offers nearly 80,000 square feet of meeting space, 685 guest rooms, restaurants, shops, golf, tennis, fishing and more.
Five unique, close-knit residential communities — with custom home sites, lakefront properties and cottages on the golf course — offer an ideal home away from home or full-time residence.
Callaway Gardens is home to a 4,610-acre forest preserve which is under conservation easement. This conserved, sustainably-