The Pittsfield NH Rotary’s Annual Hot Air Balloon Rally has been a destination for me and my family for several years now. There is nothing more peaceful than watching the early morning lift off of hot air balloons. I live in Derry and drive to Pittsfield early in the morning to take pictures of the morning launch.
There are prime viewing locations on Barnstead Road and on River Road or you can watch from Drake field where the balloons lift off. When the weather is right the balloons will just hover over the Suncook river which acts as a giant mirror producing some great reflections. I then drive back home to get my family and we spend the day enjoying all of the entertainment this event has to offer.
Our son enjoys the activities and games and of course the live music and food. We have met a few of the regular vendors and it is always nice to see familiar faces every year.
We took our son on one of the helicopter rides offered by JBI Helicopters, out of Pembroke, NH, a few years ago and he still talks about it to this day. Lines form early for the extremely popular helicopter rides and are around $25.00 per person for a ~15 minute flight, a bargain for sure.
The tethered balloon rides give you a glimpse of what it is like to ride in a hot air balloon. If you are not that adventurous it is still fun to watch the helicopters fly over the field and the balloon launches from the comfort of your chair or blanket.
One of our favorite moments during the Rally is the Night Glo on Saturday night. Both of our children enjoy watching the balloons inflate and set up. Once they are all ready to go the announcer asks them to glow in different sequences. It really is a beautiful sight. I recommend anyone who hasn’t been to the Pittsfield NH Rotary’s Annual Hot Air Balloon Rally to check it out. It is a great way to spend a weekend with your family.
Pete Langlois lives in Derry with his wife and two children. Pete works in the information technology banking sector as a systems administrator. He is an accomplished photographer and loves to shoot at air shows and balloon festivals. He also enjoys shooting waterfalls, nature and macro photography. You can view his outstanding images on his website.