Seeking Volunteers for Callaway Gardens Hot Air Balloon Festival Chase Crews

Aug 23, 2016




Rachel M. Crumbley | Director of Marketing and Public Relations

Direct: 706-663-5187 | Main:  1-855-421-3120 | Fax: 706-663-5068


Mailing Address: PO Box 2000, Pine Mountain, GA 31822-2000



Seeking Volunteers for Hot Air Balloon Festival Chase Crews


PINE MOUNTAIN, GA (08/22/2016) – Become a part of Callaway Gardens’ 18th annual Sky High Hot Air Balloon Festival, Sept. 2-4, 2016, by joining a chase crew.  Chase crews follow balloons in flight and recover them once they’ve landed.  It’s a terrific way to get involved with your community and experience ballooning first hand.


Crews assist pilots with inflating, launching, “chasing” and packing the balloons.  A good pair of gloves and a little time are all that are needed.  In return, crew members learn about ballooning and have access to the balloon festival and all the great activities and attractions at Callaway Gardens. 


There is a Balloon Glow on Friday and Sunday with set-up beginning around 7 p.m. The launches are Saturday, Sept. 3, and Sunday, Sept. 4, between 6:30 a.m. and 7:30 a.m. and again between 4 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.  Between these hours, some pilots will offer tethered rides, when the winds are calmest, and will need assistance. Crew volunteers should be available at these times.


Balloons fly wherever the wind blows and usually travel five to seven miles before landing.  Chase crews maintain radio contact with a balloon pilot. Once the balloon has landed, the crew assists with retrieving a balloon and its passengers and escorting them back to Callaway Gardens.


Approximately 150 volunteer chase crew members are needed.  Crew members must be at least 18 years old, have a valid driver’s license and be able to volunteer at the Balloon Glow on Friday night and for both flights on Saturday and Sunday.  Each balloon needs a four- or five-member crew.

If you are interested in becoming a chase crew member and can be there for all three days, or if you have questions about the event, please contact Andy Brown, Callaway Gardens’ recreation director, at


The Sky High Hot Air Balloon Festival will be an exciting time and becoming a chase crew member is a great way help make this event safe for members of our community and successful for the thousands of visitors who will be in town to enjoy Labor Day weekend.


Callaway Gardens is in Pine Mountain, GA, 60 minutes south of Atlanta and 30 minutes north of Columbus, GA.  For general information about Callaway Gardens or the Sky High Hot Air Balloon Festival, visit or call 1.800.463.6990.







About Callaway Gardens

For more than 60 years, Callaway Gardens has provided “a place of relaxation, inspiration and a better understanding of the living world” for millions of visitors.  Owned and operated by the non-profit Ida Cason Callaway Foundation, Callaway Gardens includes a gardens and resort on 2,500 acres in Pine Mountain, Georgia.  Highlights include a butterfly conservatory, discovery center, chapel, inland beach, nature trails, a zip line/obstacle course and special events throughout the year.


In addition, Callaway Gardens offers meeting space, 807 guest rooms, spa, restaurants, shops, golf, tennis, fishing and more.

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