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Herald File

Hot air balloons lift off at an annual Western Pennsylvania Balloon Quest, held in Scotland Meadows Park near New Castle. This year’s event runs Wednesday through Thursday.

LAWRENCE COUNTY – Twenty-two hot air balloons will be filling the skies of Lawrence County between July 10 and 14 during the Western Pennsylvania Balloon Quest.

The quest will be held at Scotland Meadows Park in Union Township.

“Hot air balloons bring out the kid in all of us,” said Louis G. Merryman, event organizer. “Everybody turns into little kids when they see hot air balloons.”

Something that makes the balloon quest fun for everyone is that spectators are encouraged to walk among the balloons and watch as the big aerostats are readied.

There’s something for everyone as the schedule of events spans five days.

The gates open at 4 p.m. July 10 through July 12. Preview night is July 10. There will be amusement rides from 6 to 10 p.m. with an armband special.

Day two will tout crafts and food starting at 4 p.m. and from 6 p.m. to close there will be amusement rides available. at 9:15 p.m. A hot air balloon, “Nite Glow” will take off at 6:30 p.m.

A lot of activities are planned for Saturday, July 13 with a morning hot air balloon launch, a pancake breakfast and a night balloon launch at 6:30 p.m.

On Sunday, a balloon launch will take off at 6 a.m. then a car and truck show will begin at 11:30 a.m., then from 1 to 4 p.m. 

Fireworks at 10 p.m. will round off the event.

“I’ve been doing this for 20 years and I still get as excited as the first time,” Merryman said.