Hot Air Balloons Fill the Smith Mountain Lake Sky Over the Weekend

Photo: Johnny Singleton

Moneta, VA - A crowd well into the hundreds came out to Moneta over the weekend for the third annual Smith Mountain Lake Hot Air Balloon Classic.

The event, put on by the Smith Mountain Lake Regional Chamber of Commerce, filled the night sky with up to seven hot air balloons both Friday and Saturday nights.

Barb Nocera with the SML Regional Chamber said the festival gives people a chance to enjoy what the lake has to offer beyond the typical summer tourism season.

"It's just a fun event, and with the nice, fall-like weather we've had, it makes it all the better," Nocera said. "We really enjoy showcasing Smith Mountain Lake outside of the typical summer activities. We are always doing fun things here and this was a great way to show people that."

Nocera said that for $10, people were able to get a taste of going on a hot air balloon ride, going 75 feet up while the balloon was still tied to the ground.

Some of the hot air balloons were brought in by the owners, who gave actual hot air balloon rides for $200, Nocera said.

Nocera didn't have a final count on how many people attended the two-day event, but said the chamber was very pleased with the turnout.

The Smith Mountain Lake Chamber is keeping busy even after this past weekend's event. They will also host the popular SML Wine Festival at LakeWatch Plantation on September 28 and 29.

Part of the proceeds raised went toward the SML Regional Chamber, Nocera said.

For more information on all of the fall events coming up at Smith Mountain Lake, click here.