MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (WBOY) – University Motors is holding its “Balloons Over Morgantown” that starts with its “NightGlow” kick-off event on Thursday.

NightGlow 2021 (Courtesy: Balloons Over Morgantown Facebook)

The glowing air balloons will be at the Morgantown Mall, in the parking lot across from Lowes starting at 7 p.m. on Sept. 29. During this event, the balloons are tethered, inflated, and lit up by the brightest burner. Everyone in attendance will be able to get up and close to the balloons as they glow in the night sky.

Balloons launched in 2021 (Courtesy: Balloons Over Morgantown Facebook)

The launching of the air balloons will take place at the Morgantown Municipal Airport on Friday and Saturday at 8 a.m. and 4 p.m., and Sunday at 8 a.m. These launchings will take place as long as the weather permits. If it rains, the launchings will have to be canceled until next year. You can find updates here.

The airport does have limitations on how many people can be in its facility as balloons are being launched, so the crew and pilots will be the only ones allowed inside. However, watchers can still view the launching from the surrounding airport area.

Pilots for the balloons are coming in from seven other states, including Tennessee and Michigan.

Sarah Claydon, organizer and employee at University Motors, said they have been involved for about 25 to 30 years. There used to be a “University Motors Mountaineer Balloon Festival,” but they have transitioned to “Balloons Over Morgantown” until they can find a place big enough to bring the festival back. Claydon thinks that this is still an important and fun thing to do for the community.

“I mean it’s just something different to do, you know? It’s something a lot of people haven’t seen a hot air balloon inflate or fly, and it just gives something, you know, for people to look and see. It’s something different that they can come and show their kids and participate in and, you know, you’re driving down the interstate and you see a balloon, and it’s just kind of something you don’t see every day. So I think it’s fun to have something different like that,” said Clayton.

People bring their own balloons, but they do have sponsors to help pay for the pilots’ traveling expenses and propane fuel.

Balloons Over Morgantown will return again next year, in which you can find updates and schedules here.