AIKEN, S.C. (WJBF) – Aiken is gearing up for the first-ever Aiken Hot Air Balloon Festival. The event is being held at the at the Western Carolina State Fairgrounds and will feature tethered balloon rides, crafts, retail vendors, rides for kids, food trucks, and more.

“You can expect a great family outing. Come out, bring the family…a lot of people say they want to check that bucket list. They want to get in and ride a hot air balloon. This is where you do it,” said Director of Hot Air Balloon Management, Jeremy Kwaterski.

Riding in a hot air balloon is like nothing else, so we had to ask what people can expect.

“We go about seventy-five feet in the air and it’s just an awesome experience. Until you really see it and realize how enormous they are, they are just massive and you’re sitting in that basket, with the balloon pilot, of course. It’s very safe. You’re tethered to the ground, so you’re not going to fly off somewhere. Your entire family can experience the real thrill of being in a hot air balloon,” said Kwaterski.

While this is the inaugural Aiken Hot Air Balloon Festival, it’s already scheduled to be back next year.

Tickets are on sale now. The event runs from April 30th to May 1st.