Hot air balloons will be the center of a two-day festival over Labor Day Weekend in Bel Air.

The second Annual Rising Above It Balloon Festival is a fundraiser for SARC, a Harford County nonprofit that provides hope and resources to victims of domestic violence, sexual violence, child abuse and stalking.

Family Fun Day takes place (rain or shine) at the Harford County Equestrian Center, 608 N. Tollgate Road in Bel Air, on Saturday, Sept. 3, from noon to 7 p.m. The Balloon Glow Gala takes place the evening before, Friday, Sept. 2, from 7 to 11 p.m. at Maryland Golf and Country Clubs, 1335 E. MacPhail Road in Bel Air.

Family Fun Day features a mix of activities for kids and adults alike. Hot air balloon pilots will provide interactive demonstrations. Kids can take horse rides (additional fee) and participate in Home Depot's "kids workshop," moon bounces, face painting, balloon twisting, a scavenger hunt and a pirate encampment. The Maryland Zoo's ZOOmobile will also be on hand as will Harford County Public Library's Rolling Reader.


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Also joining the festivities is Baltimore AMP (Artist Musician Project), which invites festival guests to design a T-shirt or bag to take home (additional fee).

Youth can also participate in the Big Picture Project by decorating a square of a quilt that illustrates a happy and safe world. The squares will be sewn together to form a quilt that will be on display at next year's balloon festival.

In addition, there will be a child- and youth-friendly tent filled with additional activities plus another that will focus on a mix of activities for youth and adults.

Maynard Edwards, a Baltimore-area radio personality (WQSR, 105.7 The Fan, MIX 106.5), serves as the day's master of ceremonies. His award-winning band, Collect All 5 (formerly Mobtown Saints) will perform two shows on the main stage.

There will also be a local musician stage featuring a variety of music by area artists.

The day concludes with hot air balloons taking flight for a hare and hound race (weather permitting).

Shoppers will enjoy the various items on display in vendor hall. Food will be available for purchase at the festival.

Tickets for Family Fun Day cost $5 per person (kids 5 and under are free) and may be purchased in advance online at http://www.sarc-maryland.org. Tickets may also be purchased at the gate.

The Balloon Glow Gala, featuring the magical world of Oz, will kick off the festival the evening before. Several hot air balloons will be lighted and will "glow" (weather permitting) during the evening, illuminating the area around the gala.

Tickets for the gala cost $125 per person and must be reserved in advance by visiting http://www.sarc-maryland.org.

For more information about the festival or SARC, visit http://www.sarc-maryland.org or call 410-836-8431.