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RECREATION | Red White and Blue Balloon Rally


I'm not afraid of heights, I just don't particularly enjoy moving too quickly too far above ground level (rock climbing and motorcycles are just fine, go figure). That's what I tell my buddies when they try to get me to join them for a day of riding rollercoasters. Never mind that flying in airplanes doesn't faze me at all — I think it has something to do with the goal of travel, versus the pointlessness of a thrill ride. Whatever. If you're a combination-velocity-altitude-phobe like me, or if you just fancy the idea of viewing the gorge-ous vistas of Letchworth State National Park from above, take part in the Red White and Blue Balloon Rally, to be held at the park in Castile this week. Thirty hot-air balloons will ascend from the Letchworth gorge, piloted by professionals from several states. Bring your cameras!

The balloons will launch from the Archery Field Overlook on the main park road at the Castile Entrance, about one mile north of the Glen Iris Inn. Launch times are approximate and are weather-dependent. To participate as a balloon passenger, call 493-3340 to book a flight soon, as spaces fill up quickly. Six scheduled balloon flights will take place daily from Friday, May 24, through Monday, May 27. For more details call Letchworth State Park at 493-3600 or visit