The 17th Gulf Coast Hot Air Balloon Festival, hosted by the South Baldwin Chamber of Commerce, returned this year after canceling in 2020 due to COVID-19. For the first time in the event’s history it took place at a new location, setting up at OWA for the extended three-day festival. The new location was chosen due to the growth the event has experienced over the years, drawing in not only more and more visitors, but participating balloonists. This year saw over 50 pilots and crews come out to take advantage of the beautiful weather and take to the skies above Foley.

“I love flying, whether it’s balloons or planes,” said balloon pilot Scott Wooge, who hails from St. Louis, Missouri. “There’s something special about ballooning. It’s a team sport, you can’t do it without your crew … It’s fun to accomplish something as a team.” Read more on