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Annual family event 'floats' back to Fitzgerald

The sixth annual Harmony Jubilee is this weekend. / Courtesy: Harmony Jubilee

You could have the opportunity this weekend to "float like a cloud in the sky" in Ben Hill County.

That's how pilot Dale Pattyn described riding in a hot air balloon, which will be offered this weekend, weather permitting, at the sixth annual Harmony Jubilee in Fitzgerald.

The event runs Friday and Saturday at Paulk Park with a full schedule of activities.

There's a wine and cheese tasting Friday at 6:30 p.m., along with the hot air balloon glow. The tasting costs $15.

Saturday's all-day events include live music, a kid zone with bounce houses, face painting and a petting zoo, kayaking on the pond and an artisan market. Admission is $5 for adults, but only $4 if you bring a canned good item to donate. Kids 12 and under are free.

"It's just a nice event," said Brandy Elrod, interim director of the City of Fitzgerald Tourism, Arts and Culture. "You come out here, it's a nice, open area. You can bring your kids, and you don't have to worry about them running out into the street somewhere or something. They can run and play."

Saturday will also feature a 5K color run and 1-mile fun run at 9 a.m., a puppet show from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m., and a pet fashion show at 1:30 p.m.

But the highlight of the weekend, as always, is the hot air balloons.

Ten different pilots will be there to offer rides, which are $200 for a standard ride and $10 for a tethered ride, in which the balloon is in the air but still tied to the ground.

"It's the most amazing flying you can ever do," Pattyn said. "There is no way to really thoroughly describe it without having done it or really experiencing it yourself."

You can find more information about Harmony Jubilee on its official website.

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