Capt. Crystal Stout’s hot-air balloon inflates over Sequim’s Lavender Weekend in July.  -- Photo by Joe Smillie/Peninsula Daily News

Capt. Crystal Stout’s hot-air balloon inflates over Sequim’s Lavender Weekend in July. -- Photo by Joe Smillie/Peninsula Daily News

Hot-air balloons returning to Dungeness Valley airport under new Air Affaire focus

SEQUIM –– Hot-air balloons, wing walkers and drones will fill the sky over Labor Day weekend, since plans for the first Olympic Peninsula Air Affaire have been firmed up.

The Air Affaire — a celebration of the Dungeness Valley’s love affair with flying machines and the 30th anniversary of Sequim Valley Airport — will be at the airport Aug. 31 through Sept. 1.

“There are a lot of people who love to fly around here,” said Emily Westcott, co-coordinator of the Air Affaire. “We’re going to celebrate all of that.”

The Sequim Balloon Festival has been put on hold this year in lieu of the Air Affaire.

Air Affaire organizers are bringing in owners of classic planes, hot-air balloons, biplanes and skydivers, remote control airplanes, live music and a car show.

Admission will be $5 per carload.

Capt. Crystal Stout of the Morning Star Balloon Co. said at least three hot air balloon teams will be on the scene to provide rides for a fee, which will be set when reservations are made.

“It’s going to be a very laid-back event but a lot of fun, too,” Stout said.

More balloons may be brought in, Stout said, if demand for rides is higher than expected.

People can RSVP balloon rides by contacting Stout at 360-601-2443 or airboss@nwplace.com.

Last year’s balloon festival generated some complaints, organizers of the Air Affaire noted, because balloons were staged at the airport, while festival activities and vendors were set up in Sequim proper.

“This year, it’s all going to be in one place,” Westcott said. “Everything will be at the airport, and we’re just expanding the celebration to planes and cars.”

“There’s going to be something for everyone,” Stout said.

She also asked landowners to lay white sheets in their yards to let balloon pilots know they can land on the property.

Those landowners will be entered into a drawing for two free hot air balloon rides.

More than 50 planes are lined up to be on display at the airport over the weekend, Westcott said.

Among them is a biplane owned by Mike and Marilyn Mason of the West Coast Spin Doctors.

The Masons will offer rides for $135 a ride in the classic plane and will provide a wing-walking exhibition during the festival.

To volunteer to help at the event or for more information, visit the Air Affaire’s website, www.olympicpeninsulaairaffaire.weebly.com.

________

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

More in News

Health warning lifted at East Beach on Marrowstone Island

Jefferson County Public Health has lifted the health warning from… Continue reading

Abby Counts, 8, with assistance from her father, Taylor Counts, an EMT with Clallam 2 Fire-Rescue, gives a newly acquired tender truck a ceremonial wash down during a push-in ceremony on Saturday at the district’s Station 22. The truck, tender 22, cost $459,439 and was paid for by the fire district’s 2020 levy lid lift. Saturday’s ceremony also included a blessing by the Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe and a “push-in” of the truck into its berth. The tender replaces a 31-year-old truck that had reached the end of its useful life. (Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News)
New tender

Abby Counts, 8, with assistance from her father, Taylor Counts, an EMT… Continue reading

The 95 Port Townsend High School seniors walk through the rhody garden at Fort Worden State Park on their way to the graduation ceremony on Friday. (Steve Mullensky/for Peninsula Daily News)
Graduation walk

Port Townsend, Chimacum ceremonies

Lands commissioner wary of federal plan to kill thousands of owls

Washington’s public lands commissioner, Hilary Franz, is voicing skepticism about a federal… Continue reading

Operations scheduled at Bentinck range this week

The land-based demolition range at Bentinck Island will be… Continue reading

Weekly flight operations scheduled

There will be field carrier landing practice operations for aircraft… Continue reading

Matt Larson of Sequim, who uses the radio call sign KC7EQO, tunes into a ham radio satellite during Saturday’s Radio Field Day at the Clallam County Fairgrounds in Port Angeles. The annual event, hosted by the Clallam County Amateur Radio Club, brought together amateur radio operators from around the world in a contest to make as many radio contacts as possible in a 24-hour period as a test of emergency preparedness from remote locations. (Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News)
Testing the system

Matt Larson of Sequim, who uses the radio call sign KC7EQO, tunes… Continue reading

Best of the Peninsula.
Voting round open for Best of Peninsula contest

It’s time again to vote for the Best of the Peninsula. Now… Continue reading

Port of Port Townsend focusing on five capital improvement projects

Stormwater improvement in permitting phase; construction may begin this year

Clallam County Sheriff Brian King, right, carries a ceremonial torch with Special Olympian William Sirguy, center, accompanied by his mother, Katie Sirguy, during Friday’s Special Olympics Law Enforcement Torch Run along the Waterfront Trail in Port Angeles. The event, designed to raise awareness and funds for the Special Olympics movement, brought together law enforcement officers from Clallam, Jefferson and Kitsap counties for a march across the North Olympic Peninsula. (Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News)
Torch run

Clallam County Sheriff Brian King, right, carries a ceremonial torch with Special… Continue reading

Groups back natural gas initiative

Signature-gathering efforts end July 5

Pictured left to right, Ginny Wagner, Xxzavyon (XJ) Square, Ewan Mordecai-Smith, Elise Sirguy, Mahayla Amendolare and Mallory Hartman cut the ribbon of the little free library at Jefferson Elementary School on Friday. (Darlene Cook)
Students come together to promote reading literacy

Free library constructed near Jefferson Elementary