Crowds Carry WRAL Freedom Balloon Fest Up, Up and Away

WRAL Freedom Balloon Fest

The 2015 WRAL Freedom Balloon Fest drew big crowds in Zebulon. (Photo courtesy of

The WRAL Freedom Balloon Fest held over the recent Memorial Weekend in the Triangle was such a hit that festival organizers are already making plans to accommodate the larger-than-expected crowds next year.

WRAL Anchor Reporter Brian Shrader shared stories from the weekend, both the highs and lows of the first outing for WRAL with the new event:

“We exceeded the bottom end of our projected attendance on the first night,” lead organizer Brian Hoyle said Monday.

That big success didn’t come without its share of problems. Hoyle said the attendance overwhelmed the plan.

“We just didn’t know because it’s the first time we’ve had an event of this size, scale and scope in over 25 years,” he said.

Organizers are already working on improvements for the 2016 event, and WRAL-TV is looking forward to being the lead sponsor for the event again next year.

View slideshows, video and read more about the 2015 WRAL Freedom Balloon Fest:

Thanks to for this capcom scoop & photo.

Balloons Make Appearance at American Tobacco

On May 20, 2015, the Durham Community had an opportunity to see two hot air balloons up close on American Tobacco’s Diamond View Park as part of the kick off festivities to the ACC Baseball Tournament at the DBAP and the WRAL Freedom Balloon Festival in Zebulon.

Conditions to inflate the balloons were tricky, as both temperature and wind delayed the inflation time from 6:30 pm to 8:20 pm.  While the balloons did not stay inflated long due to conditions, experiencing the “glow” of the balloons was worth the wait!

Thanks to ATC’s Valerie Ward for this capcom story.  Capcom photos courtesy of Redstar Media Group.



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