This past Saturday, July 6th, the Pawling Chamber of Commerce hosted a “Heritage Day” event at Lakeside Park in Pawling. The occasion was arranged as part of Dutchess County’s on-going, year-round Heritage Days events, set up in celebration of the county’s three-hundred-year anniversary.
The festivities commenced at 4 pm, with four trucks from the local fire department set up for inspection by the town’s youth, featuring two large engines with a host of interesting gadgets and tools on display. A small crowd of about a dozen locals started wandering in around five o’ clock; although attendance was minimal, a number of the lake’s swimmers stuck around as well to check out the scene, and wait for the balloon.
Unfortunately, by the time the balloon flyers drove in at about six, it was judged that weather conditions were too undesirable to permit a launching. According to chief balloon coordinator Joe Hamilton – who made a brief statement regarding their decision to cancel the flight – wind speeds had increased to approximately 25 mph at the balloon’s planned altitude of 3,000 feet. “Afternoons are always a little iffy,” said Hamilton, explaining that the desired wind speed be 15 mph or less.
But the evening was not over. Shorty after the event was considered closed, it was decided that, in fact, the balloon would still go up – there would be no flight, but individualized rides for families, who could climb into the balloon and ascend to a height of about 100 feet. Families were thrilled by the opportunity, and spent the last hour of Heritage Day in good cheer, with the balloon rides creating happy memories for the youngsters, as well as their parents.
Photo Courtesy of Carol Lee Kantor