While cold temperatures still cling to the area, Fayette Countians can relish the thought of warmer days to come by looking ahead to what has become one of the county’s showcase events: the Toast to Summer & Hot Air Balloon Glow.
The fourth-annual Toast, organized once again by the Fayette County Chamber of Commerce and the Fayette County Pilots & Friends Association, is set for Saturday, June 23 from 1 to 10 p.m. at the Fayette County Airport, 2770 State Route 38, Washington C.H.
Since the event’s inception, the popularity of the Toast to Summer has grown each year.
“We are pleased to once again bring such a unique and exciting event to the people of Fayette County,” said Julie Bolender, president of the Fayette County Chamber of Commerce. “Live music will begin at 1 p.m. and go throughout the duration of the event. We invite you to spend the afternoon visiting the various artisans, take part in wine tasting, enjoy the food from our local eateries and perhaps take a bi-plane ride. We hope that you will also stick around to enjoy the hot air balloon glow at dusk.”
The Fayette County Pilots Association is sponsoring the hot air balloons again this year.
“There will be 10 hot air balloons and we’re hoping weather cooperates so they can put the balloons in the air,” said Jolinda Van Dyke, the executive director of the Fayette County Travel & Tourism Bureau. “In case of inclement weather, we’re still going to be able to do a glow with the burners. We will start the glow at dusk and those planning on attending should get there by at least 8 p.m. to get a good spot.”
Tethered hot air balloon rides will again be offered this year in the evening.
The always-popular bi-plane rides from GoodFolk O’Tymes will return to the Toast. A bi-plane ride is an opportunity to experience the unique feeling from the early years of aviation. GoodFolk O’Tymes is the only commercial bi-plane ride company in the Dayton, Columbus and Cincinnati area.
The bi-plane rides will be offered from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Four local eateries, the Rusty Keg, Streetside 62, Horney’s Barbecue, and Roosters will provide delicious food at the event.
Country Cakes and Bakes will also be there for your sweet tooth. “Last year, they made two van-loads and they sold out,” said Bolender.
For those who prefer beer to wine, the popular beer garden will return with a variety of beers.
The wine tasting will begin at 1 p.m.
“At this point, we have 11 area wineries committed to the event,” said Bolender. “We will also have over 40 artisans in attendance.”
Other than what you purchase at the event, the only fee is $5 parking per carload.
“The day of the event, you can purchase your wine tasting tickets,” said Van Dyke. “There’s no need to do it ahead of time.”
Live music will include Falena Harrison, Austin Fitzpatrick, Pete Blevins, and Blind Karma, a Dayton band that will play from 6-10 p.m.
Sponsors for the event include Jim Gusweiler Toyota, the Farm Bureau, Nationwide Insurance, the Fayette County Chamber of Commerce, Buckeye Propane, Fayette County Travel & Tourism, Vermeer Heartland, and Fayette County Pilots & Friends.
Bolender encouraged the community to come out this summer by saying, “There is sure to be something for everyone at the 2018 Fayette County’s Toast To Summer.”
Reach Ryan Carter at 740-313-0352 or on Twitter @rywica.