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Dare we say, ‘Up, Up, and Away’?

July 22, 2011

Narragansett Times File Photo

The South County Hot Air Balloon Festival, organized by the Wakefield Rotary Club, takes place July 22-25 at URI Athletic Fields in Kingston.

SOUTH KINGSTOWN—For three days at the end of July, families from Rhode Island and beyond come to the athletic fields at URI to participate in an event which typifies nostalgic summer fun. The 33rd annual South County Hot Air Balloon Festival, organized by the Wakefield Rotary Club, is set to begin again.

The events are many. There are pony rides and a petting zoo. Children and their parents can go trout fishing in release pond. A rock wall will be set up for those who wish to test their stamina and nerves. A classic car show will be on display for fathers and grandfathers to point out their first car, their favorite vehicle. Then, there are the racing pigs, and participants can pick which one will dominate the course.

“There is always something exciting,” said Festival Chairman Spencer Seitz. “The Racing Pigs are returning, which were a huge hit years ago. There is lots of great stuff to do for the family and every nickel we raise supports local charities and non-profit organizations.”

The South County Hot Air Balloon Festival also offers numerous contests, including the first ever Pizza Grilling Competition. On Sunday July 24 from noon to 3 p.m., eight to 10 groups of participants will create and grill their own homemade pizza. A panel of teenage arbiters will decide whether a pizza has the taste to be ‘Best in Rhode Island.’

“This should be great fun, a new and exciting addition to the festival,” said contest organizer Bud Faria. “Everything imaginable can be grilled, from fruit to seafood, and a lot of people like grilled pizza. This is a local competition for Rhode Island pizza grilling enthusiasts,” he added.

For more information pick up a copy of The Narragansett Times.

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