INDIANOLA, Iowa –The National Balloon Classic is underway in Indianola. You can be a part of it by volunteering to be a crew member on a hot air balloon team.
Larry Van Wyngarden started as a crew member nine years ago. “Because I love it. It’s an adventure every time you go out,” Van Wyngarden said.
Crew members perform a variety of tasks, from unloading the basket to assembling the structure and inflating the balloon. “Most of them, if they show an interest, I’ll teach them how to run a burner. If they want to be a pilot, I can train them,” Pilot Joel Worthington with Diamondjake Ballooning said.
Each flight takes three to four hours from set-up, to launch and “chasing” the balloon to where it lands. Crew members are mostly needed during the weekday morning flights, when most people head to work. Call (515)961-8415 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to volunteer.
The National Balloon Classic runs through August 2 at the Balloon Field located at 15335 Jewell Street east of Indianola. The balloon flights launch at 6:30 in the morning and evening. Admission is free in the morning. Tickets are $5 in the evening. Kids 12 and under are free.
Balloon rides are also available. Call 1-800-690-1287 to schedule a ride. Click here to go to the National Balloon Classic’s website for a full schedule.