Saturday, August 21, 2010

12th Annual Sky High Hot Air Balloon Festival at Callaway Gardens®

End Summer on a High Note with Hot Air Balloons; National and International Kneeboard Championships; Music and More

Are you lamenting the end of another summer? Worry not…at Callaway Gardens®, things are looking up …way up …with the return of the Callaway Gardens® Sky High Hot Air Balloon Festival for its twelfth year.

Set for September 3-5, 2010, 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” while the tunes of a classic brass band play in the background.

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, fee), a rock climbing wall (fee), bungee jump (fee), sandcastle building, swimming, miniature golf, kite building, t-shirt tie-dyeing (fee) and more.

Don’t miss the very popular Classic Car Show on Saturday. In 2010, more than 100 cars are expected to roll through the gates and add even more color to the already spectacular event.

NEW this year, Robin Lake will host the 26th Nautique Kneeboard Nationals and the 5th International Kneeboard Riders Cup throughout the weekend. Also new this year will the opportunity to walk inside a balloon envelope. Saturday’ admission includes a Saturday night concert by country music artist Kevin Sport, on Robin Lake Beach from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. to be followed by a Movie on the Beach at dusk. After three weeks of voting, the public has chosen the recently released movie Marmaduke via a Facebook/callawaygardens poll.

Meanwhile, the athletically-inclined can enjoy their own adventures thanks to the Callaway Gardens Fitness Series, including a 5K run and the Triathlon on Sunday morning. This year represents the 30th 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

Want to be a part of the high flying balloon action? Sign up to be on a Balloon Chase Crew. 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 Greg Brannen at 706-663-5043 or

Festival admission is $25 per adult (ages 13-64); $20 per senior (65+); $12.50 per child (ages 6-12); and free for children five and younger (admission prices include tax). 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.

Stay around and enjoy the entire weekend with friends and family on the Sky High Hot Air Balloon Weekend Package. Starting at $159**, this offer includes accommodations in the Mountain Creek Inn; admission to the Sky High Hot Air Balloon Festival; four tickets to make tie-dye T-shirts at the Festival on Saturday or Sunday; breakfast in the Plant Room, Country Kitchen or Piedmont Dining Room; admission to Callaway Gardens and its many attractions; use of the Mountain Creek Inn Fitness Center.

Don’t delay. Call now for reservations at 1-800-CALLAWAY (225-5292) or make reservations online at

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, Mountain Creek Villas and Lodge and Spa at Callaway Gardens.

About Callaway Gardens

For almost 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 13,000 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 100,000 square feet of meeting space, 923 guest rooms, restaurants, a full-service spa, 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-managed land is used for biological studies and environmental education programs.

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