Seeking Volunteers for Hot Air Balloon Festival Chase Crews

Aug 13, 2014


Rachel M. Crumbley | Director of Marketing and Public Relations | Callaway Gardens
Direct: 706-663-5187 | Main:  706-663-6881 or 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 (08/13/2014) – Become a part of Callaway Gardens’ 16th annual Sky High Hot Air Balloon Festival, Aug. 29-31, 2014, 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, Aug. 30, and Sunday, Aug. 31, between 6:30 a.m. and 7:30 a.m. and again between 4 p.m. and 5:30 p.m.  Some pilots will offer tethered rides and need assistance more during the day. 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 or if you have questions about the event, please contact Andy Brown, Callaway Gardens’ recreation director, at 706-663-5043 or 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 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 garden, resort, preserve and residential community on 6,500 acres in Pine Mountain, Georgia.  Highlights include a butterfly conservatory, horticultural center, discovery center, chapel, inland beach, nature trails, a zip line/obstacle course and special events throughout the year.

In addition, Callaway Gardens offers nearly 80,000 square feet of meeting space, 680 guest rooms, restaurants, shops, golf, tennis, fishing and more.

Five unique, close-knit residential communities — with custom home sites, lakefront properties and cottages on the golf course — offer an ideal home away from home or full-time residence.

Callaway Gardens is home to a forest preserve which is under conservation easement.  This conserved, sustainably-managed land is used for biological studies and environmental education programs.


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