Sky to be king in Sequim: Things aloft to be celebrated next weekend
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Flames shoot hot air into a hot air balloon owned by Capt. Crystal Stoutís Morning Star Balloon Co. -- Photo by Joe Smillie/Peninsula Daily News

By Joe Smillie
Peninsula Daily News

SEQUIM –– Look, up in the sky. It’s a bird, it’s a plane . . . it’s a hot-air balloon and a biplane and a wing-walker and a stunt pilot and remote-controlled aircraft.

Everything aerial will be celebrated in Sequim over Labor Day weekend this coming Saturday and Sunday as the Olympic Peninsula Air Affaire revels in sky-borne craft in conjunction with Sequim Valley Airport’s 30th anniversary and Sequim’s centennial year.

“It’s going to be a lot fun. There’s going to be opportunities for people who love any kind of flying to come have fun with it,” co-organizer Capt. Crystal Stout said.

Parking will be $5 at the festival, which will be from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Sequim Valley Airport, 468 Dorothy Hunt Lane. Admission is free.

Stout, owner of Morning Star Balloon Co., has brought in a pair of friends who also own hot air balloons to give rides for a fee at the Air Affaire.

“Don’t worry if you look up in the sky and it looks like a balloon is on fire or is heading for a power line,” Stout said.

“It’s just an optical illusion. We know what we’re doing up there.”

The rides will be offered between 7 a.m. and 9 a.m. each day.

Presales are available now by contacting Stout at 360-601-2443 or airboss@nwplace.com. Stout said rides will be $250 per person.

Local landowners can try for a shot at free balloon rides if they place white sheets in open fields to let balloon pilots know they have a safe landing zone.

Those who do will be entered in a drawing for free balloon rides with Stout.

“And anybody else that wants a ride can always get one. I’m here, I’m local, I have a balloon,” Stout said.

More than 50 vintage airplanes are expected to fly in to the airport for the weekend’s aviation extravaganza, organizer Emily Westcott said.

Plane activities will include stunt pilots, wing-walkers and rides in vintage biplanes.

Among the vintage planes is expected to be a biplane owned by Mike and Marilyn Mason of the West Coast Spin Doctors, who offer rides for $135 in the classic plane and will provide a wing-walking exhibition.

The Tri-Area Radio Controlled Flyers Club will put its collection of hand-piloted planes and drones in the air.

A classic car show, live music and food vendors also are planned.

The Sequim Balloon Festival took off over Labor Day weekend in 2012 but has been put on hold in favor of the Air Affaire this year.

For more information on Sequim Valley Airport, visit www.sequimvalleyairport.com.

For more on the Air Affaire, visit http://tinyurl.com/AirAffaire.

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Sequim-Dungeness Valley Editor Joe Smillie can be reached at 360-681-2390, ext. 5052, or at jsmillie@peninsuladailynews.com.

Last modified: August 24. 2013 5:42PM
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