An absolutely mind-boggling, fantastic, bewildering experience in Walla Walla

Commercial hot air ballooning has returned to Walla Walla. Come take a sail of a lifetime more than 5,000 feet up.

WALLA WALLA – Commercial hot air ballooning is back to the valley and the conditions to fly have been nothing short of perfect.

According to Seattle Ballooning, other than sponsoring a balloon during festivals, there haven’t been any opportunities to get out and sail the sky in years.

The Walla Walla Valley Chamber of Commerce hosted a ribbon cutting to make the official announcement. President Kyle Tarbet said the excitement has been building for weeks now. The area has the right conditions for ballooning, but that’s not all Walla Walla has to offer.

​”We would love to have our neighbors from Yakima, the Tri-Cities, Spokane, wherever you’re at, come on over,” Tarbet said. “Come see the classic cars this weekend, enjoy the great weather, the wineries, wonderful restaurants and the Balloon Stampede in October.”

KAPP-KVEW’S Rylee Fitzgerald had an opportunity to take the sail of a lifetime on one of those hot air balloons.

In her own words, Rylee tells those who have always wanted this experience or even those who may have a little fear, the experience is one she won’t soon forget.

“An absolutely mind-boggling, fantastic, bewildering, experience is probably the simplest way to put it. I’m not sure if I’m ever going to get the view out of my mind – floating over the city of Walla Walla at the leisurely, but calming, pace of about 5mph. The smoke in the air didn’t affect the view at all. The crew said it was the perfect weather to launch off from. I could barely feel the basket lifting off the ground, soaring over the farmlands and wine country. This is all made possible by Seattle Ballooning, which is bringing balloons to ride in for the first time in years. There’s really only one or two ways to see these floating baskets in all of Eastern Washington – again, only to see them, you have to attend the great Prosser Balloon Rally, or the Walla Walla Balloon Stampede. Seattle Ballooning is offering Walla Walla the chance to fly commercially, right after their Seattle season ends.

I was up bright and early to catch a sunrise over the Blue Mountains … and I can tell you this: The golden hour lighting is unmatched. Going over the vineyards the city is known for, while maybe even popping some bubbly for ourselves; you know, the historic way to celebrate a successful hot air balloon ride. Not only was it smooth, but also I felt safe. The pilots I flew with have nearly 40 years of flying experience between the two of them. The thing they do best is having a great relationship with the farmers and winery operators they’re taking off from and landing in. Weather permitting, you get the best view in town. Descending about 700 feet per minute, I barely felt a thing. This has been such a beautiful experience.”

The location just opened up in Walla Walla and just in time for some beautiful sunrise and sunset flights across the city, now until late October.

To book a flight for yourself, you can head to this link and book through Seattle Ballooning.

The air sailing in Walla Walla lasts until November 1, 2022, until they come back around next year.

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