GREENVILLE, S.C. â€“ It was announced today that the 30th annual Freedom Weekend Aloft festival (FWA) will return to Heritage Park in Simpsonville, S.C., over Memorial Day weekend. The festival will paint the Upstateâ€™s skyline with majestic, multicolored hot air balloons from May 27 â€“ 30, 2011, thanks to a continued partnership with Greenville Hospital System University Medical Center (GHS).
FWA is nationally recognized for its signature hot air balloons and four-day concert series held in Heritage Parkâ€™s Charter Amphitheatre.
Guru Balloon is excited to have the opportunity to be performing at this years event. FAA Certified Commercial- LTA Pilot Adam Carusone and Crew Chief Jana Krajnakova will be providing Passenger Rides, Tether Rides, and instructional demonstrations, wind and weather permitting.Â To secure your opportunity to Fly in this year’s Freedom Weekend Aloft with Guru Balloon simply purchase your $175.00 per passenger,boarding pass at the following link FREEDOM FLIGHTS with Guru Balloon.Â Don’t Hesitate to Elevate!Â Call Now if you have questions 407.758.7007.
Concert Series â€œThis yearâ€™s list of artists is exciting and ranges from country to 90s to reggae to performers back by popular demand,â€ said Simpsonville Mayor Dennis Waldrop. â€œWe feel confident that we have something for everyone and the 2011 concert series will not disappoint. Keep in mind that the acts we are sharing today represent only a partial list as we will be announcing additional concerts very soon.â€
The current concert lineup is as follows:
FRIDAY, MAY 27:
TONIC â€“ www.tonic-online.com
GIN BLOSSOMS â€“ www.ginblossoms.com
SATURDAY, MAY 28:
WALKER HAYES â€“ www.walkerhayes.com
STEEL MAGNOLIA â€“ www.steelmagnoliamusic.com
JOE NICHOLS â€“ www.joenichols.com
SUNDAY, MAY 29:Â BACK BY POPULAR DEMAND!!
THE WAILERS â€“ www.wailers.com
COREY SMITH â€“ www.coreysmith.com
Also returning for an encore performance is the Purple People Eater hot air balloon. Festival goers should keep an eye to the sky as this fun, whimsical balloon is sure to fly by with bulging eyes, spider-like arms, large, pointed ears and a mischievous grin. Rest assured that he is a gentle giant and his only goal is to bring smiles to all who see him fly by! Another unique balloon, High Chair, will be piloted by 83-year-old Mike Erhler from Kentucky. Erhlerâ€™s unusual balloon design â€œlandedâ€ him on the cover of Popular Mechanics magazine in 1975.
In addition to the daily hot air balloon ascensions and non-stop concerts, attendees are invited to participate in the second annual Freedom Ride and Freedom 5K.
The Freedom Ride will take place Saturday, May 14 at 8 a.m. Cyclists of all skill levels are encouraged to participate and can choose to ride eight, 25 or even 65 miles. All three rides start and end at Hillcrest Memorial Hospital.
Taking place on Saturday, May 28 at 8 a.m., the Freedom 5K is open to runners and walkers of all athletic abilities. The 3.1-mile course will take participants through the 90-acre festival grounds as the morning skyline fills with hot air balloons. Participants will also enjoy two musical acts along the route.
Individuals can register online for both events at www.freedomweekend.org. Registered participants will receive a run/ride T-shirt plus one free FWA admission ticket, parking pass and admittance to Sundayâ€™s VIP area. Exclusively for Freedom Ride and Freedom 5K participants, the VIP area will provide an area to enjoy the concerts, balloons and offer great door prizes including a chance to win a hot air balloon flight!
In the spirit of Memorial Day, Freedom Ride and Freedom 5K participants can choose to run, walk or cycle in celebration of a friend or family member who has served or is currently serving in the military.
Organizers continue to expand the eventâ€™s activities and offerings to ensure that FWA is not a spectator-only event, but an event where those attending can get involved and participate in a myriad of family-friendly activities. Lacrosse will return for 2011, with an anticipated 10 teams competing in FWAâ€™s second annual showcase tournament. In addition to the national disc dog competition, there will now be an agility dog demonstration with performances by top teams from throughout the Southeast.
Now you can take FWA wherever you go with the FREE Freedom Weekend Mobile application that is available for Apple iPod touch, iPhone, iPad, and various Android mobile devices created by FWA sponsor LightingHammer (www.LightningHammer.com). The application was designed to be an extension of the website so visitors could take Freedom Weekend Aloft â€œon-the-goâ€.
- Live event news and information
- View the Event Schedule including concerts, times, locations, and event details
- Get instant weather information for Simpsonville as well as live weather updates provided by Freedom Weekend Aloft via twitter.
- View event locations on an interactive map including parking areas, balloon launch zone, and Amphitheater concerts.
- Touch any event location to get turn by turn directions on GPS enabled devices
- See whatâ€™s being said about @FreedomWeekend on twitter.
- Coming Soon!!!!…Check-in to Freedom Weekend Aloft via Gowallaâ€¦View who is â€œchecked inâ€ to Freedom Weekend Aloft and view photos.
BI-LO will continue as Presenting Sponsor and organizers hinted that future announcements will focus on first-evers’, biggest-evers’ and much more.
As in previous years, FWA will be tobacco-free between noon and 5 p.m. daily, and Hillcrest Memorial Hospitalwill be on-site to provide first aid. The 2011 event will continue an all-inclusive general admission policy including all amphitheater concerts, viewing of hot air balloon ascensions, disc dogs, acoustic stage, Family Fun Zone and more. Children 12 and under are free. Tickets are available at all BI-LO locations and can be purchased for $5 from April 18-30 or $7.50 between May 1 and 26.Â For more information, please visit www.freedomweekend.org.