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Laura Garcia | Laker Weekly
A balloon lights up the sky during the SML Hot Air Balloon Classic.
Friday, September 13, 2013
Nearly a dozen hot air balloons flew above the Smith Mountain Lake area last weekend for the third-annual SML Hot Air Balloon Classic.
A fundraiser on Friday benefited the Smith Mountain Lake Regional Chamber of Commerce, and a glow ceremony was held at Downtown Moneta on Saturday. Several in the crowd said there was a bigger turnout of spectators and balloons than in previous years.
Kim and Don Horton of Moneta came out for the launch on Saturday near Mariner’s Landing. She said the wind prevented the balloons from flying over the water and instead led them toward Lynchburg.
The Hortons watched the afternoon launch with Lorye Johnson and her granddaughter of Roanoke. The group went to see the Balloon Glow , but nearly missed it because the event started and ended earlier than scheduled. It was advertised to run from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m., but by 8:30 p.m., there were only two balloons illuminated. Earlier in the evening, eight tethered balloons lit up the sky. It’s unclear whether weather conditions contributed to the change in hours, but many left disappointed.
Weather JournalEarly mix, then ice storm Sunday