Quechee gears up for balloon festival - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Quechee gears up for balloon festival

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It's a big weekend in the Upper Valley—setup has begun on the green in Quechee for the 35th annual Quechee Hot Air Balloon Festival.

Like previous years, more than 20 balloons will take flight during the three-day event which kicks off Friday. Along with balloon rides, there is also live music and food. Between 10,000 and 12,000 people are expected to turn out.

Organizers say the event is a great boost for the local economy as tourist stay in nearby hotels, eat in restaurants and shop in stores.

"It has been recognized by Yankee Magazine as one of the top 20 events in New England and one of the top state events and really the premiere balloon festival of Vermont," said Sandy Clavelle of the Quechee Hot Air Balloon Festival.

"We look forward to all the people who have never been here before who come and all the ones who come back including and especially the pilots who love to come by and check out the stores and eat the hot dogs, taste the ice cream and shop in our store," said Joan Ecker of Fat Hat Clothing Company.

The Balloon Fest is the major fundraising event of the year for the Hartford Area Chamber of Commerce. They hope to raise more than $50,000, with proceeds supporting the Quechee Visitors Center.

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