Frequently asked questions?
What is the purpose of Freedom Weekend Aloft? The festival promotes affordable family fun, hot-air ballooning, patriotism, and tourism in the Upstate area, while raising money for local and regional charities.
What are the event dates and hours? Every Memorial Day Weekend and for 2003, Friday, May 23 – May 26. The event is open daily from 12 Noon until 11 P.M.
Where is the event located? Anderson Sports and Entertainment Center, 3027 Mall Road, Anderson, South Carolina
The easiest way to get to the event from Interstate 85 is: From either direction take Exit 19A (US 76/Clemson Blvd). Follow Clemson Blvd/US 76 approximately 4 miles to Mall Road and turn right. Follow mall road to main parking lot on left.
Upstate Location: Midway between Atlanta, GA and Charlotte, NC on I-85. Anderson is just two hours from Atlanta, GA or Charlotte, NC and is in the northwestern corner of South Carolina.
How much does the event cost? Admission to the event is free which covers viewing of the balloons each evening, remote musical stages, children’s entertainment, sponsor displays, disc dog competitions, etc. Parking costs $6. Headliner concerts cost $10 – $15 on average per show (6 and under free). Amusement rides, food, drinks, souvenirs, games, etc have a fee also.
Where can I get tickets for the concerts and how much do they cost? Bi-Lo Grocery Stores May 1 – 22 for $10 per person per day. On-site at the amphitheater gates May 23-May 26 for $15 per person per day. 6 and under free
What restrictions are there on the event grounds? No coolers, pets, glass, roller blades, golf carts, 4 wheels, scooters, overnight parking, tailgating, alcohol in parking lots, video or audio taping in amphitheater. If you have a special request regarding these rules, please call the FWA office at 864-232-3700/222-0051.
What should I wear to the event? Wear comfortable shoes, as there is a lot of walking involved from the parking areas to the event site as it is a large place. The event site is paved but is located on an incline. The amphitheater is a tiered grass amphitheater with walkways around the outside. Dress appropriately for the weather.
Thecarolinachannel.com for weather.
When do the hot-air balloons fly? The balloons are not on the event grounds the entire event due to winds, competition times, etc. The best time to see the balloons is from 6-8 P.M. daily. Although the event is not open in the mornings, the balloons do fly Saturday and Monday from 7-9 A.M. All balloon flights are subject to weather and may be delayed or cancelled at the last minute. The event does try to get the flights in but must keep the safety of the pilots, crews and attendees as a top priority.
How can I ride in a Hot-Air Balloon? Due to the event being a competition for the balloons where they are competing for cash and prizes, there are no paid rides available during the event at this time. There are tethered rides available from Re/Max each evening during the flight in front of the Civic Center building. A nominal fee is charged and it is given to charity. A tethered ride allows a passenger to float above the event site about 100 feet but the balloon is tied off to vehicles below. Arrangements may be made with pilots for rides after the event ends, just look for signs on the pilot vehicles.
How do I contact the event? 864-232-3700 (Greenville), 864-222-0051 (Anderson), 864-271-9339 (Fax), Fwastaff@aol.com, Mailing address: 1990 Augusta Street, Suite 202, Greenville, South Carolina 29605