What is The Great Wellsville Balloon Rally? The Great Wellsville Balloon Rally is an organized group of volunteers that work all year long to put on the biggest event in Allegany County – a hot air balloon festival. The event takes place the third full weekend in July.
Who organizes the Balloon Rally? The rally is organized by a volunteer group of citizens. It is headed by a Chairperson that serves a two year term and is elected by the Board of Directors. The rally is further composed of committees that are chaired by members. These committee heads are nominated by the committee and approved by the Board of Directors. If you are interested in joining The Balloon Rally Committee, Board of Directors or would like to volunteer please contact the chairperson or any of the members. You can view a list of committee members by visiting the Contact Us page of this web site.
Where is The Great Wellsville Balloon Rally? The rally takes place at Island Park is in Wellsville, New York. Wellsville is the largest town within Allegany County.
When should I arrive at the Rally site? For evening launches it is best to arrive by 5 PM. For morning launches it is best to arrive by 6 AM.
Where do we watch the balloons? Designated spectator areas are provided that allow ample room and visual access to the balloon activities and the launches. Vendors, restroom facilities and shuttle access are all provided within the spectator area.
Are pets allowed? We ask that you do not bring your pet to the rally unless it is a working animal. While most owners are considerate and careful, in large crowds the mess an animal can make creates public health and cleanliness issues. In addition, other spectators, especially children, may be fearful of animals. Please leave your pets at home.
Is smoking allowed at The Rally? There is no smoking allowed at the launch site. Please remember that the balloons are fueled by propane.
Where can I park and catch a shuttle bus? There is free shuttle service between the site and several locations. Those locations include: The Riverwalk Shopping Center, the Northern Lights Shopping Center, and the McDonald’s parking lot in front of Save-A-Lot. There is no parking at the launch site, but there is parking across the river from the site (a footbridge spans the river). Parking signs will be posted to direct you.
What should I bring? The site does not have seating so you are encouraged to bring lawn chairs or blankets. It is also a good idea to bring a sweatshirt or long sleeve shirt. Don’t forget your camera!
Are there vendors? The site has food vendors, merchandise vendors and of course the Official Great Wellsville Balloon Rally store. There are bounce houses and a games trailer for the kids.
Is there other entertainment? The Rally typically includes live music performances by local bands and a DJ each night of the rally. Daily features for children this year include bounce houses and carnival games. There will be fireworks on Saturday night.
How long does each launch last? Upon receiving word from The Balloonmeister to launch most of the balloons will be in the air within thirty minutes. That is just the start. Many spectators chose to chase their favorite balloon. This is acceptable as long as you do not get in the way of the chase crew. Please remember to obey all traffic laws.
What do chase crews do? Chase crews help the pilot inflate his or her balloon. They then follow the balloon in the chase vehicle (usually a truck or SUV that pulls a trailer). The pilot and chase vehicle communicate by two way radio so that the crew is ready when the pilot lands the balloon. If you are interested in being a crew member please contact the Pilot Relations Chairperson.
Is there a place to stay while we are in Wellsville? There are several motels and hotels in the area. You can visit the following websites for more information: wellsvilleareachamber.com or DiscoverAlleganyCounty.com.
Can we park our RV at the site? With the exception of pilots and vendors, RV’s cannot be parked at the launch site, however there are several campgrounds – Trout Run Campground located South of Wellsville, Breezy Point Campground located West of Wellsville and Riverside Campground located in Scio (just North of Wellsville).
How can I contact the Balloon Rally? You can email firstname.lastname@example.org or you may contact any of our members listed on the Contact Us page located under the Operations Menu. You can also write to the Balloon Rally at the following address: The Great Wellsville Balloon Rally, PO Box 1206, Wellsville, NY 14895.
Is internet available at the launch site? Yes, Wi-Fi is once again being provided by SkyStream Solar and The Computer Clinic.
How can I help the Balloon Rally? The Great Wellsville Balloon Rally is offering community members, area organizations and businesses the exciting opportunity to sponsor our balloonists. Sponsorship is an essential source of support for this time-honored community event. You can learn more by visiting the Sponsors Tab.