Muscadine Balloon Fiesta returns to East Tennessee

MADISONVILLE (WATE) – The Muscadine Balloon Fiesta is returning to East Tennessee this weekend with hot air balloon rides, live music and food.

On Saturday and Sunday, you’ll see more than a dozen hot air balloons hovering over Tsali Notch Vineyard in Madisonville.

“It’s beautiful flying here at the base of the Smokies in the Tennessee Valley. Look around at these vineyards and rolling hills and the awesome scenery that we have here, it makes it a magical time here to fly,” said Steve Davis with Muscadine Balloon Fiesta.

It’s a fun time with a purpose. Proceeds of the event are going to benefit Court Appointed Special Advocates, a local organization that helps abused and neglected children in the court system.

“We see a lot of kids come into the court because of their parents’ addiction issues. So we really try to make a difference in that child’s life with the volunteers that we use,” said Alisa Hobbs, the executive director for CASA Monroe.

Volunteers from CASA, along with community helpers, are providing 300 helping hands to make this event possible.

More online: Details about wine tasting

Tethered balloon rides are a family favorite. Many participants are also looking forward to the Balloon Glow after the sun sets.

“We’re going to have the balloons stood up in the hills of the vineyard here. We will have them choreographed to music and you’ll see that burner come on and it lights up the balloons like a giant light bulb,” said Davis.

Not only will you see balloons floating in the sky, but you’ll be able to try some wine at the tasting room on the vineyard.

“We’re trying to put Tennessee wines on the map,” said JD Dalton, manager of Tsali Notch Vineyard.

The event has something for everyone and organizers hope it will be a memorable experience for families.

Davis adds, “There’s something special about a balloon that just draws people together and draws their attention and brings out the best in people. And I think you’ll see a lot of that this weekend.”

The two-day Balloon Fiesta begins on Saturday, September 2, from 2 p.m. to 10 p.m., and runs through Sunday, September 3, from 2 p.m. to 10 p.m.. General admission tickets for adults are $10 and children ages 12 and under are $5.

More online: More information on the Muscadine Balloon Fiesta

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