Once again, the schedule is jam packed with highlights: Friday features the Dare Devil Trained Dog Show, balloon launches at about 6:30 p.m., the Brent McCoy Comedy Juggling Act, and the Balloon Glow at dusk. Saturday is the longest day with more dog shows, another day with Brent McCoy, tethered balloon rides, helicopter rides, and the evening balloon launch. On Sunday there are two new additions, The Car Show with 100 cars from 11 to 3 and the New York Steak Cook Off with dozens of teams competing for the prizes and fame and bragging rights. Meet the grill masters and watch their expert techniques to hone your own skills the next time you grill at home.
Every day, every minute of the Festival, the Kids Zone is in full swing with bounce houses, pony rides, a petting farm, face painting, a designated magician, Shawn, a balloon twister, and games. There is live music daily in the Music Barn next to the Beer Garden serving craft beer, wines, and wine slushies. There is a wide choice of food including four BBQ rigs, some local and an award-winning pit master from Ohio, the Smoke Shack, plus Jamaican Jerk Chicken, brick oven wood fired pizza, turkey legs, burgers, and more. With all that, then there’s the Marketplace to do a little shopping: artists, artisans, specialty food makers, eclectic household items like massage guns populate the space along NY Wine and Distilled Spirits.
The Saratoga County Fairgrounds are located at 162 Prospect Street in Ballston Spa. Festival hours are Friday 3 to dusk after the Balloon Glow; Saturday 11 to 8; and Sunday 11 to 5. It is a rain or shine event. Adult admission is $12 and children under 16 $5 at the gate. There is a special price on Sunday, adults are only $8 and children the same $5. For the adventurous you can book a balloon ride on the Festival website www.balloonandbbq.com. For balloon launch updates check the website and www.facebook.com/saratogaballoonandbbq.