Sunday, August 3, 2014

Germantown Founders Day & Balloon Festival

 I've wanted to go for years and this year I managed to make it. Last evening (August 2, 2014) was the Arthur Huffer, Jr. Memorial Hot Air Balloon Festival & Germantown Founders Day.

Photo Credit: Historical Society of Germantown

 Organized by the Historical Society of Germantown, the event honors Arthur Huffer, Jr. who was a local farmer and WWII veteran. Huffer was also a US Marine and was on Iwo Jima when he "saw Marines from his 28th Regiment plant the American flag on the top of Mount Suribachi on February 23, 1945."
 When Huffer died in 2002, he willed much of his estate to four local organizations: Rotary Club of Germantown, Germantown Lions Club, Germantown Rescue Squad and The Historical Society of Germantown.
 "He also contributed generously to the Marine Corps and to the Dayton Foundation for the betterment of health for the citizens of Germantown," according to the HSG.
 The festival is a way to honor and thank Huffer.

 The weather appeared all week not to be cooperating. That three hour window on Saturday (6:30 pm to 9:30 pm) threatened with rain and winds, neither conducive to an event featuring hot air balloons. But by mid-afternoon, the sky began to clear, the scattered storms moved on and the wind settled. By evening the weather was perfect with a nearly-first quarter moon serving as backdrop to the festival.

 Not long after the 6:30 pm starting time, a sizable crowd was already in place, ready for The Greasers to perform.

The Greasers

 Germantown's own band, The Greasers were first formed in 1976. Three of the four original members - Randy Stiver, Richard Schoonover and Ric Hacker - remain. Brandon Schoonover plays lead guitar; Don Frame plays drums; Steven Cross is on keyboard; Julie Stiver plays saxophone; bass guitar is played by Gerald Emrick; and Ashley Stiver supplies vocals.
 The band is in their final three performances.

It was a joy to watch this young fellow dance to the band

Tom Buhler

Bill Schmidt & Tom Buhler

Steven Cross & Ashley Stiver

 The hot air balloon launch began about 7 pm. Four balloons took to the sky and drifted slowly south. Later, they would be trucked back to Kercher Park and be part of the balloon glow.

 Suspended beneath the mammoth balloon, the wicker gondola seems minuscule

Up up and away in my beautiful balloon ...

 This balloon seems to reach for the moon (upper right)

 The balloons drifted south, one after the other

Tom Buhler in foreground

 How many attended? A thousand?

Shoo Fly Pie - I had to try it!
It's taste is predominantly molasses - it's so rich, one $2 slice was enough.

 Tom opted for a slice of chocolate pie

This young girl watched the band and danced up a storm 

Now that the sun is setting, preparations can begin for the balloon glow

The Greasers played non-stop for more than two hours 

 Sensitive ears and loud music probably made for a miserable time for this dog

Twist and Shout!

  ... and the balloon glow begins just after 9 pm

 When the propane ignites, the balloons seem to explode in flame

Close-up, when the burner is on, the air around the balloon becomes instantly warmer
almost "sauna"-tised

With a roar, the balloon inflates with hot air

A final look back as we walk across the field to the car

 Just after 9:30 pm we began to walk back to the car. The night air was cooling and I turned the car's heater on for the ride home ... in August!
 A great evening of exciting entertainment and wonderful friendship.

Just added ... this wonderful "last minute" photograph by Jeremy Shock, another Jackson Twp. resident and fellow weather enthusiast. GREAT shot, Jeremy. I wish I had taken it!

Copyright 2014 Jeremy Shock

Bonus video! The Greasers perform "The Twist" (partial):

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for sharing this colorful event! How fun! A lasting memory, for sure :)