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Local News

September 3, 2013

Balloon fest draws crowds to Neahwa


“This is the second balloon festival that LEAF and First Night Oneonta have been a part of, and it has been just great,” Mandigo said Saturday night.

Julie Dostal, executive director at LEAF, said she was especially thankful for the support of Oneonta police in making events such as the balloon festival possible.

“A lot of people think that events like these cannot be successful without alcohol, and yet we have all worked together to create this movement in Oneonta where families can come to these events and have fun together, and it is working!” Dostal said.

Among those having fun on Saturday was Xiolynn Delarosa, a State University College at Oneonta sophomore who said she was especially excited for the balloon glow.

“I’ve always wanted to see a hot air balloon, ever since I was little,” Delarosa said. “The rain almost stopped me from coming, but I was determined to see one. I’m from the city and you don’t see things like this down there. It’s beautiful.”

At Julie Ann’s Gourmet Italian Sausage stand, vendor Julie Ann Goodrich of Greene was back for a second balloon festival. 

“We love coming because everyone is so polite and nice,” Goodrich said. “The entertainment is great, too! We’ll be back.”

As Sgt. Peppers Phony Hearts Club Band shook up the crowd with their Beatles covers, the balloons were slowly deflated and put away.

“It’s been great,” Ranieri proclaimed as he rushed to help take down a balloon at the end of the night. “Anyone who doesn’t like a balloon ride is a stick in the mud!” 




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